Crisis as Mpilo hospital runs without Zesa power

Dr Lawrence Mantiziba

Dr Lawrence Mantiziba

Nduduzo Tshuma Senior Reporter
MPILO Central Hospital is sitting on a time bomb after going two days without electricity following the breakdown of a power line that supplies the health institution on Tuesday.
According to staff at the hospital, the unavailability of power, caused by an explosion of a component at a transformer linking the hospital has seriously affected the mortuary, maternity ward and theatre.

Mpilo chief executive officer, Dr Lawrence Mantiziba downplayed the crisis yesterday saying the mentioned wards had generators supplying power.  He said installation of the component would take up to four days, meaning that the health facility would be reconnected around weekend.

But staff who spoke on condition of anonymity yesterday said the generators were fast running out of fuel.
They said nurses had to carry patients up the stairs to and from the theatre as the lifts were not working.  Patients and nurses in some wards endured a cold night because the heaters were not working.

“If the fault is not fixed today (yesterday), we might have a full blown crisis on our hands tomorrow. The hospital can rarely afford to keep fuel reserves covering more than 24 hours. We have entered the second day without power,” said an official.

The officials said once fuel ran out, the hospital would virtually grind to a standstill.
“Bodies would rot at the mortuary; operations would have to be suspended at the theatre, the incinerator will stop functioning and the hospital will virtually be a breeding ground for diseases,” said the official.

Dr Mantiziba said it would take between three to four days to reinstall the component that blew up in the transformer, adding a donor had already bought the part.

“Yes it is true (that power has been disturbed) I do not know what the name of the component is but fortunately a donor has bought and given us the damaged component that is awaiting installation,” said Dr Mantiziba.

He said there was temporary interruption of supply of water on Tuesday but it was restored after a generator was connected at the radiotherapy centre.

“We understand that it would take three to four days to install that particular component. There is no crisis however as there are generators powering all our critical wards.

“We have generators at the theatre, mortuary, maternity wards and radiotherapy supplying power there. All the critical areas are covered,” said Dr Mantiziba.

He said he did not know the actual value of the component but paid tribute to the institution’s resource mobilisation strategy that managed to get a donor within a short time.

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