Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
GOVERNMENT has started working on the processes to rebuild the part of the burnt Beitbridge District Hospital which resulted in equipment and consumables worth an estimated US$3,5 million going up in flames.
On Monday, a fire broke out in the theatre recovery room, destroying equipment and infrastructure at the 20-room theatre complex.
As a stop-gap measure, health authorities have started deploying equipment from Gwanda Provincial Hospital following the destruction of equipment at the Beitbridge District Hospital Theatre where surgical operations are carried out.
In an interview yesterday, the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr John Mangwiro said the Government has activated the process of replacing the damaged equipment with services expected to resume soon.
“We are seized with addressing service delivery deficiencies at the Beitbridge District Hospital following the destruction of infrastructure and equipment, which resulted in disruption of theatre services when fire broke out on Monday,” said Dr Mangwiro.
“So, our infrastructure development team is carrying out the necessary assessments which will then guide us on what needs to be done to resume services.”
Dr Mangwiro said the hospital is a strategic health facility as it also caters for travellers passing through Beitbridge Border Post.
“We want to quickly restore normal medical services at the district hospital considering that it is strategically located. It serves the community in Beitbridge and surrounding areas including thousands of the regional and international travellers,” he said.
In addition to being a district referral hospital for a population of about 30 000 residents, the 140-bed health facility also caters for the in-transit population passing through Beitbridge Border Post.
An estimated 15 000 people pass through the border town daily, with figures increasing to more than 25 000 during peak periods.
Beitbridge District Hospital carries out an average of five small theatre operations a day, including around 30 Caesarian deliveries a month.
District medical officer Dr Lenos Samhere said they are still putting together a bill of quantities.
“We are also waiting for the deployment of equipment from our provincial hospital for use at our small theatre at the outpatients’ department. At the same time, we advise expecting mothers, especially those who usually deliver through the C-section to bear with us as efforts to revamp the theatre complex are underway,” he said.
Friends of Beitbridge District Hospital spokesperson, Mr Nqobile Ncube said their assistance will be guided by the Government’s plan.
“We are closely following the developments and ready to assist. This facility is strategically located and our wish is to see it up and running again,” he said.
Friends of Beitbridge District Hospital, which comprises businesspeople, residents and other key stakeholders, are in the process of repairing a fleet of broken-down vehicles at the hospital, including ambulances. — @tupeyo ernmebn