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    Thursday, 19 March 2020

    Raw dam water for patients at Morgenster


    TATENDA CHIZU
    SENIOR REPORTER

    MORGENSTER – More than 100 patients at Morgenster, arguably the biggest mission hospital in the country have been using raw dam water for the past three weeks after Zesa cut off power to the institution because of an outstanding $627 000 power bill.
    Experts said the situation is dire and exposes patients to new infections which make healing difficult.
    A lorry ferries water from a nearby dam and this  is used to wash linen and clean up the place.
    Patients look after their own water needs and a nurse told The Mirror that relatives therefore also use the same raw water from the dam to bath  patients and for drinking.
    Last week the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe-run (RCZ) hospital’s nurse compliment of 65 staged a demo at the institution in protest against the situation. Morgenster Mission is a massive place with a staff compliment staggering to more than 250 and they are all getting neither electricity nor water.
    “Relatives are told on admission of patients that they bring their own water. No one at the institution cares where that water comes from but it is an open secret that everyone is getting water from that dam. We all know that relatives are boiling the water to make it safer for patients,” said the nurse.
    Charles Juro, the station superintendent blocked calls from The Mirror without commenting. When a different number was used to call him, Juro who was recycled by the church from being its secretary general said he was in church and cut off the call.
    Workers’ committee chairmperson at the hospital, Liberty Chidharara blamed Zesa for the problems. He said that the power utility was overcharging the hospital with its bills since there are no prepaid meters.
    “Imagine with these power outages, workers are getting bills of up to $800 a month. There is need to have prepaid meters in the hospital otherwise water woes are going to continue to the detriment of patients,” said Chidharara.
    Dr Amadius Shamu, the Provincial Medical Director said it was true that there was no electricity at the workers houses but at the hospital electricity is ther.
    RCZ secretary general Tafadzwa Masimba said he was aware of the issue and he urged the institution to resolve them with Zesa e.
    The staff cottages at the hospital have neither power nor water creating a situation conducive for diseases outbreak. Morgenster has the biggest eye unit in the country, it has a maternity hospital, an Opportunistic Infection unit, female, male and children’s wards.
    The hospital also provides one of the biggest training centers for nurses in the country and is used for attaching nurses from other hospitals and currently there are student nurses from Parirenyatwa, Driefontein and Mpilo.
    The hospital has four doctors.
    Apart from the hospital, Morgenster mission runs a teachers’ training college at the same place, a primary and secondary school, a school for the deaf and a Theological College. However each of the above is run by its own administration.
    The other units have power and water and The Mirror is reliably informed that the college would not support the hospital with water.
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