When will Mnangagwa act on Zimbabwe's death trap hospitals?

When will Mnangagwa act on Zimbabwe's death trap hospitals?
Published: 15 March 2019 (233 Views)
She's being called the doctor who moved a nation. This week Azza Mashumba, the head of paediatrics at Harare's main-and-in-desperate-straits Parirenyatwa Hospital, made a tearful plea to the health minister for support.

"Babies are dying," Mashumba said, tears running down her cheeks.

Senior doctors at "Pari" now say that shortages of drugs and vital equipment mean they can only attend to emergencies.

That, said, Mashumba, means this: her unit is delivering still births and disabled babies.

Her raw emotion captured on video has now been viewed tens of thousands of times.

WATCH: Babies are dying



Will President Emmerson Mnangagwa finally wake up?

His wife Auxillia - who promised to help doctors when they went on strike in December and January - is on a two-week visit to New York to attend a UN gender summit together with other top government officials. It might not be a luxury holiday. So far there are no pics of Auxillia squeezing in a bit of shopping a la Grace Mugabe.

But still, Zimbabweans are asking questions. Where are the priorities?

More to the point: how many syringes, bandages and bottles of Betadine might have been bought for the cost of sending officials to the Big Apple?

Another Pari doctor, Faith Muchemwa, told Health Minister Obadiah Moyo the burns unit she heads doesn't have fresh bandages or antiseptic to treat wounds. Staff have taken to washing and reusing bandages resulting in cross contamination and hospital-acquired infections. "Patients are dying more than ever," she said.

What happens now?

Zimbabweans are divided. Touched by Dr Mashumba, some on Twitter have called for Zimbabweans who can to donate towards the running costs of hospitals. Others are firmly opposed to that: why should citizens have to do the work of the government when they already pay taxes, they say.

Besides, this isn't just a forex shortage problem. The doctors themselves told the health minister that simply changing the way state hospitals are run will go a long way to ending the crisis in the public health system. In particular, the tender system for supplies is laborious and clunky, and eventually costs lives.

Bandages can and should be bought locally with local money. But that's not always happening.

Clearly worried, the health minister has said changes must be made. State media has just announced that US$1 million has been found to procure vital medical supplies.

But Mnangagwa needs to show more sensitivity to win over a sceptical and angry public. His government needs to show it is imposing the same levels of austerity upon itself as it is on the people of Zimbabwe.

If not, the tears of Dr Mashumba will be in vain.

Oliver Matthews is a freelance reporter based in Zimbabwe.

- ewn

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Zimbabwe Army hunts for Tajamuka leader

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 77 Views

Jonathan Moyo not yet on Interpol radar

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 45 Views

Senator Dr Mpofu accepts defeat at MDC Congress

by Ndou Paul | 27 May 2019 | 63 Views

Your Mindset determines your Success

by Enos Denhere | 27 May 2019 | 40 Views

'Stop rumour mongering in ZANU PF'

by Simbarashe Sithole | 27 May 2019 | 63 Views

Mnangagwa's govt sabotaged Chamisa's congress

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 59 Views

Achieving self-sufficiency in electricity generation in Zimbabwe

by Victor Bhoroma | 27 May 2019 | 42 Views

Biti, Ncube and Karenyi voted as Chamisa's VPs

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 142 Views

Tsvangirai's daughter beats opponent from hospital bed

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 98 Views

Chamisa ally Hwende beats Mwonzora for SG post

by newzimbabwe | 27 May 2019 | 81 Views

Zimbabwe economy dies

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 72 Views

WATCH: The body of Dabengwa arrives in Bulawayo

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 73 Views

Zanu-PF Youths ready for MDC protestors

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 57 Views

Mwonzora loses Secretary General post to Hwende

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 62 Views

MDC CONGRESS: Full election results

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 99 Views

Mnangagwa to snub Dabengwa's burial?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 63 Views

ZANU PF Youths ready for MDC protestors

by Mandla Ndlovu | 27 May 2019 | 120 Views

MDC Congress plunge into darkness

by newzimbabwe | 27 May 2019 | 126 Views

'Freezing' temperatures to hit Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 140 Views

ZACC aspirants chopped down to 35

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 95 Views

WATCH: Chamisa speaking before MDC Congress vote counting

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 116 Views

Mujuru swims in US$450 000 debt

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 110 Views

Surface Wilmar resumes operations

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 106 Views

Dabengwa's body expected in Bulawayo today

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 92 Views

Man assaults neighbour over sex snub

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 121 Views

Oskido rejects anything to do with BAA nomination

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 86 Views

Minister's house gutted by fire

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 115 Views

Zesa announces load shedding reprieve

by Staf reporter | 27 May 2019 | 108 Views

Bulawayo, ZPC in dispute over ownership of power station

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 85 Views

Plumtree villagers demand restoration of Kalanga chiefs

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 77 Views

Police brutality victim compensated 9 years on

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 81 Views

$42 million lost to cyber-crime

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 77 Views

'Prices will fall,' dreams Zanu-PF

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 82 Views

The economy may never rise under a Zanu-PF leadership

by Tapiwa Gomo | 27 May 2019 | 99 Views

Zanu-PF officials threatened Chief with death

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 85 Views

Bulawayo businessman sues sheriff

by Staff reporter | 27 May 2019 | 71 Views