Power cuts put patients at risk

Staff Reporter

RUSAPE – The incessant electricity load shedding running for about 20 hours daily has led to Rusape General Hospital halting critical surgical operations putting patients at high risk.

The situation has been made worse by fuel shortages to run generators. Admitted patients have been going for days without having proper daily meals. The electricity cuts have also affected water supplies at the hospital.

Rusape is the only referral hospital in Makoni District.

In an interview with Post On Sunday recently, Makoni District Medical Officer, Lincoln Nyafesa confirmed that the electricity load shedding was heavily impacting on the hospital operations.

“The hospital is now failing to undertake Surgical operations for emergency cases as well as running X- Rays and laboratory tests,” he said.

Most patients are said to be going for hours without having meals and the hospital has resorted to the use of firewood.

This publication was told that the firewood is insufficient to cater for daily meals for patients admitted at the health facility.

Nyafesa explained that even after preparing food with firewood, patients have to endure eating cold food, as there is no means of pre warming it once prepared on open fire.

“We have resorted to firewood, but it’s not adequate and effective, hence, sometimes food is served cold. We also do not have provisions for gas, which is very expensive,” he said.

“The only resources we can manage to acquire for the time being are rechargeable lights using the Resource Based Fund (RBF) money, which is a donor facility,” Nyafesa said.

A male patient admitted at the hospital said the situation was worrying as patients were suffering from both improper medical care as well as shortages in medical supplies.

“There is no proper health care as a patient. We are enduring critical shortages of medical supplies. I cannot afford to purchase drugs from these private pharmacies,” he said.

Rusape Town Council (RTC) Chairperson, Laiton Sithole, said council was looking into the mitigation process.

“We are looking at how best we can have a continuous supply of water for Rusape,” he said.
“We have approached the town engineer to give us specifics of what size of solar energy equipment or generators that can be acquired to run the size of the water pumps the RTC has.

As of now we don’t have anything before us that we can say we have resorted to as electricity problems persist. We are doing all we can to come up with a solution” said Sithole.

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