Most health care services at Manama Mission Hospital in Gwanda district, Matabeleland South province, have been suspended after the hospital infrastructure was damaged by a violent storm recently.
The heavy rains accompanied by strong winds blew off roofs of some wards, damaged solar panels, telecommunication cables and destroyed water tanks.
The hospital which services about 90 000 people from Gwanda district and Beitbridge West, was forced to suspend many of the services as it does not have electricity and some wards are without roofs.
There is therefore urgent need to repair the damaged buildings, replace the solar panels and rehabilitate the general infrastructure at the hospital which is said to be dilapidated.
The hospital was built in 1939 using farm bricks which means most of the buildings have outlived their life span and need to be replaced.
The hospital was built by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) and is one of the major hospitals in Matabeleland South province.
Following the suspension of most health care services at the hospital, some people are now being forced to travel more than 40km to seek services at Sengezana Clinic which obviously cannot cope with the demand for services given that it is just a clinic.
Work to repair the damaged infrastructure should have started a long time ago.
The church, which is the responsible authority, probably does not have the resources to undertake the repair work.
We therefore call upon the Gwanda Rural District Council and Government to assist with the required resources.
Council could use some of its devolution funds to fund the repairs because this hospital is servicing its people.
Services at this very important hospital should be restored as soon as possible.
The population that this hospital has been servicing cannot be serviced by a clinic. Some people are now travelling to Gwanda town to seek services at Gwanda District hospital which is very costly.
The Church should engage council and Government if it does not have the resources. Government and the churches have for years been working together to provide health care services and other such services.
Churches have built hospitals, schools and other such facilities to provide services to the people and we commend them for that.
We want to once again implore Government and council to quickly move in and assist the ELCZ with resources to undertake repairs at Manama Mission Hospital.