By Vumani Mthiyane
Gwanda Provincial Hospital is set for a major facelift as the government has reportedly availed funds for the construction of a new mortuary and refurbishment of the hospital wards.
The referral hospital which caters for the Matabeleland South province services a population of about 250 000 people drawn from districts such as Beitbridge, Matobo, Gwanda and Insiza.
The mortuary which has a capacity to carry 12 bodies is constantly breaking down.
In an interview with CITE, the hospital`s Medical Superintendent Dr Rutendo Manyati said some of the funds have already been released.
“The hospital was allocated $350 000 for the refurbishment of the hospital mortuary. We are currently awaiting input from the department of public works with regards to the drawing and bill of quantities before we can follow the due process of advertising the project and inviting eligible contracts to bid for the project,” said Dr Manyati.
“We were also allocated another $350 000 for renovating the female and males wards as well as the outpatients’ department. This one has already been advertised in the state press, we are following the tender process as required by PRAZ.
“The mortuary currently has a carrying capacity of 12 bodies. This is small considering that we are located along the major highway and frequently are faced with disasters that require bigger storage space.”
Dr Manyati said after the upgrade the mortuary`s carrying capacity is expected to increase to 20 bodies with the addition of 2 post mortems rooms and a chapel.
The refurbishment of the hospital wards will see the establishment of a standard Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as well as the recruitment of more specialist doctors.
“Everyone is committed to quality service delivery while waiting for the authorities to look into the issue of improved resource allocation and better working conditions.
“In addition to projects already in the pipeline, the hospital will benefit from the establishment of an Intensive Care Unit, and revamping of the operating theatres to match the increase in the number of surgical operations being done at the hospital,” said Dr Manyati.
Zimbabwe’s health delivery system, once touted as one of the best in Africa, has been crumbling over the years due to gross underfunding and a serious brain drain.
Internal documents from the Health and Child Care ministry seen by CITE revealed that the government is struggling to provide funds to construct and staff new health centres across the country.