Beitbridge district referral hospital has temporarily suspended theatre services due to water shortages after the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) disconnected the whole town last Friday.
ZINWA spokesperson Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said in a statement Monday 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.
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. Dr Samhere said:
We need water for cleaning the wards, washing and sterilising theatre and maternity ward equipment, and in the Covid-19 isolation centre.
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 the hospital handles a daily average of at least 10 cases in the theatre and a minimum of 10 deliveries in the maternity ward.
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.
More: The Herald