United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) and Mpilo Central Hospital have become “death traps” after nurses deserted the two institutions for fear of coronavirus, among other factors.
Reports indicate that UBH has been deserted by the entire nursing staff except for supervisors and four registered nurses (RGNs) seconded by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
UBH chief executive officer, Narcissus Dzvanga on Sunday told Southern Eye that they were expecting a few more nurses from the Zimbabwe National Army. He said:
Yes. That’s true [that the hospital is operating with a skeletal staff]. It’s multifactorial ranging from the industrial work withdrawal, quarantine, flexi-working hours, transport issues, fear of the COVID outbreak and the rise in the Bulawayo statistics.
This is very, very sad and unprecedented. We got just four RGNs from Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services and expecting a few from the Zimbabwe National Army as well.
Dzvanga appealed to Red Cross and St Johns and other nursing agencies to send volunteers to help with menial duties.
He revealed that the hospital does not have sufficient personal protective equipment, and they are now going to discharge all the stable patients and attend to emergencies only.