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Patients flock to Karanda hospital

Mount Darwin — Patients from all corners of the country are swamping Karanda Mission hospital in Mt Darwin, seeking affordable and better medical services offered by the Evangelical Church of Zimbabwe-run institution.

Report by Moses Chibaya

Renowned medical doctor, Paul Thistle is now at Karanda after he was booted out of Howard Mission Hospital in Chiweshe.

Thistle, of Canadian origin, was ordered by the Salvation Army to go back to Canada in August last year after spending 17 years working at Howard hospital.

Standardcommunity recently visited Karanda hospital and talked to a number of people who had come to seek medical attention.

Godfrey Mutevera from Harare said he was forced to come to Karanda Mission Hospital, as services offered were far better than those offered at government hospitals in the capital.

“I was involved in a car accident, so I am having some problems with my leg. I came here because I was told that there are better services,” he said.

“I came here this morning and everything that I wanted done has been done. This is different from government hospitals in Harare where you are told to ‘come back tomorrow’. You go back five times without proper attention and end up losing a lot of money. The service here is good.”

Another woman from Chitungwiza, Taizivei Mudimu, said she was forced to come to Karanda hospital because of the affordable charges.
“The hospitals that I was initially referred to are charging up to US$2 300 to attend to my particular problem which I could not afford, hence I decided to come here,” he said.

Thistle confirmed that patients from many parts of the country were coming to Karanda.

“Karanda might get busier than what it was a year or two years ago because of the combination of the team work. I think it’s more than one or two people that make a difference, from the medical superintendent, to the nurse aides, cooking and cleaning staff that make a hospital function,” he said.

Thistle could not say whether the situation at Howard hospital had deteriorated since he left.

He said it was unfortunate that there was a disagreement between him and the Salvation army over his forced transfer.

“We could have discussed the problems and found a solution. At the end of the day, they thought it was better that Thistle left,” he said.

Karanda Mission Hospital is a 130-bed hospital which oversees 2 000 births every year. It also carries out an average 3 500 surgeries annually and treats between 200-300 outpatients daily.

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