Norton desperately needs new mortuary

HARARE - Norton Hospital urgently needs a new mortuary after the current one became non-functional and deteriorated to a deplorable state.

The hospital – which treats patients from as far as Chegutu and Harare – serves a community of 70 000-plus people.

The crisis emerged following a visit to the hospital by Norton’s independent MP, Temba Mliswa.

A new mortuary will provide specialised services to meet the needs of bereaved families, medical staff and clinicians.

According to hospital staff, the current mortuary has capacity to accommodate only six bodies, but they are proposing to construct one that handles 30 bodies.

The mortuary fridges, which have been repaired over and over, have become dysfunctional.

That coupled with an air-conditioned chamber which is not working has forced the hospital to preserve bodies using ice slabs, purchased by relatives.

The building needs repairs too.

Refurbishing the existing mortuary costs between $15 000 and $17 000 while building a new state-of-the-art one requires about $200 000.

Mliswa said it was crucial for all stakeholders, including Health minister David Parirenyatwa, to pool resources and develop the hospital, adding that he will ask the Parliament’s health committee to make deliberations and set resolutions on the matter.

“In a dysfunctional economy, the community becomes the last line of development as they are the foundation and beneficiaries of every service provided and as it stands, Norton Hospital is calling for more than the MP’s intervention but that of the government, companies, council and the community,” Mliswa said.

During the tour, officials noted the need for the upgrading of the institution’s infrastructure for it to suit the general hospital status.

According to Norton Hospital officials, the surgery room is also now defunct owing to shortages of wards.

The institution is also in urgent need of electricity back-up in the event of a power cut.

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