Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
MPILO Central Hospital in Bulawayo attended to 13 life threatening conditions of people who were injured during violent protests in the city from Monday to Wednesday last week.
Violent protestors looted shops, destroyed property and set vehicles on fire.
The violence resulted in most workers failing to report for duty with Bulawayo hospitals among the worst affected.
In an interview, Mpilo Central Hospital clinical director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya said the situation at the hospital was desperate resulting in the institution using its ambulances to fetch medical practitioners from home.
“We attended to 13 life threatening injuries. Some of them had broken arms while others were shot in the abdomen. It was quite a traumatising experience that I don’t wish to recount. These were not the only victims that we attended to, there were just too many,” he said.
Dr Ngwenya said some doctors among other health workers started reporting for duty on Friday easing pressure at the hospital.
“We had to fetch doctors/surgeons from home using an ambulance as most of them were afraid to travel using their cars to come to work. We are glad that the situation is now normalising because if it continued like that we were going to experience serious challenges. For other health workers we had to rely on a vehicle from the Ministry of Health and Child Care to transport them for duty,” he said.
Dr Ngwenya urged city residents to be peaceful during demonstrations of any kind.
At United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), the hospital’s chief executive officer, Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu, said the hospital managed to continue attending to patients mainly due to employees living in the eastern suburbs.
She said hospital services returned to normal as more employees started reporting for duty on Friday.
“However, members of the public especially those who were participating in the violent protests should know that health workers should be treated as an essential service. They should not be prevented from doing their work. Those who managed to report for duty were even attending to some of those who were injured during the protests,” Mrs Ndlovu said. — @nqotshili