Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Mat South Bureau Chief
RENOVATIONS at Manama Mission Hospital where infrastructure and buildings were extensively damaged by a violent storm late last year are nearing completion following the erection of a new roof.
Government allocated $28 million for repairs and upgrading of Manama Hospital after noting that all the institution’s infrastructure does not meet modern health care standards.
Roofs of several wards that include the maternity ward were blown off following heavy rains accompanied by strong winds.
The infrastructure damage is estimated at US$40 000.
Treasury initially released $8 million to repair the damaged infrastructure, but later availed more funds to upgrade the entire hospital infrastructure, which is in a poor state.
A Chronicle news crew visiting the hospital yesterday observed the new roof on the affected ward, but noted that ceilings, plumbing, painting, flooring and electricals are yet to be completed.
Matabeleland South Provincial Public Works director Mr Sijabuliso Ncube said despite being on leave, he is aware that significant progress had been made towards completing repairs at the hospital.
“We have put up the roof on the affected ward and will soon be doing the finishing touches.
Now that the roof is done, we will be putting up the ceilings, electricals, painting and other repair work,” said Mr Ncube.
The strong winds and heavy rains, which hit Manama area, also left the hospital without electricity after solar panels were damaged, affecting water storage tanks and telecommunication cables, resulting in the suspension of critical services.
The suspended services include the expanded programme of immunisation (EPI), maternity delivery services, postnatal care services, isolation of Covid-19 positive mothers, antenatal care services and integrated management of neonatal, childhood illnesses and mortuary services.
Matabeleland South provincial medical director Dr Rudo Chikodzero said the hospital has had to make do with the current infrastructure to accommodate patients.
“The female patients are still having to share space with patients from other wards, as we await completion of the hospital repairs,” said Dr Chikodzero.
Four departments were extremely affected, leaving the hospital operating with just four wards, which accommodate all the admitted patients.
Media personality Dr Omphile Marupi, who was born at the hospital, co-ordinated a fundraising drive under the banner of Friends of Manama last year to help repair the health facility.
Friends of Manama brought together teachers, academics, businesspeople, politicians, service chiefs and ordinary people associated with the hospital in one way or the other.
Manama Mission Hospital was built in 1939 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) using farm bricks and its roofing is a combination of corrugated iron and asbestos.
It is located 85km south of Gwanda town and has a catchment population of 82 500 based on the 1992 census.
The hospital mainly services the population of Gwanda South and Beitbridge West.
It also acts as a referral hospital for other parts of Beitbridge District, Maphisa, Kezi, parts of Mberengwa and Botswana.
Mrs Medeline Nare, a villager from the Manama area, said they were anxious to see the affected ward up and running again as the hospital has been a mainstay of their community.
“We’re happy that the hospital is being renovated and hope that the repairs will be completed soon.
It’s not good to have a hospital in such a state; the patients are not comfortable where they are now,” said Mrs Nare.