Rumbidzayi Zinyuke-Manicaland Bureau
Approximately US$2million is needed to complete construction work and equip the Mutare City Council-run Mutare Infectious Disease Hospital (MIDH) Covid-19 Isolation centre which has been under renovation since May.
This is expected to cater for all equipment like ventilators, drugs, beds and PPEs for the available infrastructure as well as the construction of additional infrastructure that include an incinerator, a mortuary and an administration block.
The Intensive Care wing of the hospital was completed in May but the main wing is still undergoing refurbishment for it to be able to meet WHO standards for isolation centres.
The mortuary, incinerator and admin blocks would be totally new works that would be done once current works are completed.
Mutare City Health services director Dr Anthony Mutara said the hospital was still not equipped to care for patients.
“Our renovations are still at that stage where we are not able to offer enough care to patients. We are admitting patients in the ICU wing but the main wing is still incomplete.
The oxygen pipes have been installed but there are no oxygen tanks so if we had a patient in need of oxygen support, we would not be able to offer that and we have to refer them to another institution,” he said.
The delays in the renovations of the main wing at MIDH have been attributed mainly to resource limitations.
Dr Mutara also said the technicality of putting up infrastructure of that kind meant they needed specialised skills but the country only has a few such personnel who have been spreading themselves thin to cover all facilities across the country.
He said the unavailability of funds meant materials could not be procured in time hence sometimes work stalled as workers were waiting for delivery of materials.
“We have been training our personnel preparing for taking care of more patients once the hospital is completed. We are almost there in terms of completing the building but we are more concerned with the equipment for the facility because it will be more expensive,” he said.
Once completed, MIDH is expected to have a carrying capacity of 30 patients, with 10 of those in the ICU.