Mothers at Bulawayo’s Mpilo Hospital are sleeping on the floor in the Paediatric Unit where their sick children are receiving treatment.
By Our Correspondent
The hospital’s Pediatric Unit, the only referral centre for children in the southern region of the country, does not provide accommodation for waiting mothers.
Touched by the plight of the waiting mothers, Zambia’s Deputy ambassador to Zimbabwe, Humphrey Mwenya Mushili, donated US$500 towards the building of a shed outside the hospital, to provide sleeping space for the women.
“I am donating this US$500 towards the acquisition of roofing sheets for the construction of a shed for the waiting mothers,” said Mushili.
Previously the envoy had made another US$500 donation to the hospital.
According to the hospital authorities, about US$240 000 is needed to construct decent accommodation for waiting mothers.
Mpilo Hospital chief executive officer (CEO), Lawrence Mantiziba thanked Mushili for the gesture and said the lack of shelter was a major worry for the hospital as mothers were now being forced to be an integral part in the nursing of children.
Mantiziba said the institution was facing many challenges in service delivery due to financial constraints.
“The government of Zimbabwe has missed the target of the Abuja Declaration on Health where nations should allocate 15% of their national budgets towards the health sector. Consequently, Mpilo Hospital, as is the case with other health institutions, has suffered from acute funding inadequacies,” said the CEO.
He said the hospital was owed over US$15 million by patients in unpaid fees while the institution had also accumulated a debt of US$2 975 000 to its major suppliers.
“The hospital theatres face challenges in infrastructure and equipment. Of the 10 hospital theatres only four are fairly working. Only one out of seven hospital elevators commissioned in 1957 is fairly working but with constant breakdowns,” Mantiziba said.
He added that the hospital was facing serious shortages of important drugs.