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Teams deployed to asses St Luke’s fire damage

Teams are now on the ground trying to assess the damage at St Luke’s Hospital in Lupane after the institution was brought down in a fire.

The Roman Catholic mission hospital, which is the biggest at Matabeleland North, was gutted by a fire Monday night and lost property worth hundreds of thousands.

Equipment including the VIAC unit where cancer screening is conducted was destroyed as well as medicinal vaccines, patient records and fridges.

Operations at the hospital are now on stand still, while pre-maternal and maternal patients were displaced.

In an interview with CITE, Provincial Medical Director for Matabeleland North, Dr Pugie Chimberengwa confirmed a team from both the Roman Catholic Church and the hospital were on site to assess the extent of damages and provide solutions.

“The cause of the fire is still unknown and it is still too early to come up with concrete solutions but investigations are ongoing. Teams are on the ground trying to see what can be done to make sure the hospital is up and running again,” he said.

Dr Chimberengwa added that although the hospital was a mission centre, the government would also assist with whatever resources it had.

“The hospital was playing a major role in the province and it is therefore necessary for everyone to come together and make sure St Lukes is up. The centre offered critical services such as cancer screening which is a vital service for women in the province. The cancer screening machine was donated by the Government in the hospital,” he noted.

Locals had expressed concern that it may take a while for St Lukes to be up due to limited resources considering the state of the economy.

There were also allegations that the hospital had no insurance that would cover cost of the damages.

Dr Chimberengwa said he was not sure about the insurance claims but would contact the hospital’s administration.

“As I mentioned before, the government also has to intervene to make sure St Lukes is up and operating, as we cannot afford to inconvenience patients in the province ,” noted the provincial medical director

St Luke’s is a Roman Catholic mission hospital situated in Kusile District, about 120km from Bulawayo along the Victoria Falls Road.

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