Beitbridge hospital suspends theatre services after Zinwa cuts water supplies
Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Authorities at Beitbridge district referral hospital have temporarily suspended theatre services due to water shortages after the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) disconnected the whole town last Friday.
The parastatal discontinued services over a $65 million debt owed by Beitbridge Municipality for the period January to June 2021.
Beitbridge District Medical Officer Dr Lenos Samhere said they had been plunged into a crisis considering that water was very critical in their operations.
“We need water for cleaning the wards, washing and sterilising theatre and maternity ward equipment, and in the Covid-19 isolation centre,” he said.
“Now, we have a crisis. So, we have temporarily suspended all theatre-related services and we have to refer patients to other major hospitals in the region.”
Dr Samhere said on average, they handle at least 10 cases in the theatre and a minimum of 10 deliveries in the maternity ward daily. He said they had also moved Covid-19 serious patients from the isolation centre at NSSA Hotel to the main hospital for close monitoring as a result of the ongoing water crisis.
The 140-bed hospital is a referral centre for 250 000 people from the district’s 17 primary health care facilities, and others from Mwenezi and Masvingo district.
In addition, it serves part of the 15 000 people who transit through the town daily, mostly those who fall sick or are involved in road accidents on their journeys to inland Zimbabwe or South Africa.
ZINWA spokesperson Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said in a statement today that they were owed a total of $205 million by Beitbridge Municipality of which $140 million is the subject of an ongoing High Court case.
“ZINWA could not have disconnected Beitbridge over the amount,” she said. “However, the disconnection has been effected to recover the $65 million which is not the subject of any court case.
“The Authority hopes that Beitbridge Town Council will soon settle the outstanding amount so that water supplies can be restored for the benefit of the residents.” @tupeyo