Deputy Minister of health and chilsd care Dr John Chamunorwa Mangwiro

Chidamoyo Needs More Nurses, Doctors

By Blessings Chidakwa

Chidamoyo Christian Hospital in Hurungwe district has a critical shortage of staff including nurses owing to increased demand for services attributed to population growth.

The hospital was constructed nearly 50 years ago for a population of about 3 200 but now serves 32 000 people, straining healthcare staff.

In his address at the handover of a new digital X-ray machine donated by the Japanese Embassy, Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said Government was deeply concerned with the situation at the hospital.

“Chidamoyo Hospital is doing very well with a nursing staff complement of 22 but more than 50 others are needed because the population it is serving has grown. The hospital was designed to cater 3 200 people but it now handles about 32 000. The nurse-patient ratio at the hospital is very high, meaning there is need for extra hands,” he said.

“As Ministry of Health we want to make sure we give quality care to our patients and ensure that our health workers are happy, so we will work towards having the required nursing establishment.”

Dr Mangwiro said there was also need to increase the number of doctors at the hospital amid revelations that there were only three doctors attending to at least 200 patients daily. He said attainment of upper middle income status by 2030 required a quality and robust healthcare system.

“As Government, our President is saying we should be an upper middle income country by 2030 and that means we need to have the requisite health facilities in place. The introduction of this digital X-ray machine is putting us very high in terms of the quality of services we can provide. However, there is need for more doctors. As an upcoming upper middle income economy we will need junior doctors to specialise, but even if they specialise, nurses also need to specialise, so do our technicians in the laboratories and pharmacists.

“Each district should have these resident specialists,” he said.

Dr Mangwiro said the hospital was also facing funding challenges.

“Like any other hospital, the medical superintendent here is crying because of underfunding and we realise it is a national problem. Remember things were down but we are slowly getting out of the situation and things will improve,” he said.

Dr Mangwiro said Government had come up with measures to access drugs without relying solely on the private sector.

“We used to wait on the private sector for medication but now hospitals can get medicines directly from Natpharm in Harare,” he said.

Source : The Herald

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