Chi-Town nurses' strike enters 2nd day

HARARE – Chitungwiza Central Hospital nurses yesterday escalated their calls for the provision of basics to use during patient care yesterday, forcing the hospital’s chief executive officer, Obadiah Moyo to meet with them and address theirs and the patient’s plight.

This comes as David Parirenyatwa who has been Health minister since 2013 was reinstated for the same post by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The nurses who were entering into the second day of their strike, following Friday’s demonstration said they will not stop until the issues are addressed.

Things such as gloves, bandages, detergents, oxygen, adequate food and other necessities are said to be in critical shortage at the hospital.

During the morning feed even bread was in shortage with the nurses saying only one loaf was supplied per 42 patients.

Moreover the nurses said they had to feed patients with rice and cabbages as they lamented having to watch patients dying as a result of lack of drugs and oxygen.

“We don’t even have detergents to clean the theatre, or even wash the linen, how are you supposed to operate in an environment like that. We don’t even have gloves.

“We care about our patients and we want these things to be corrected. We are meeting with the chief executive and we are hoping something will be done soon,” Zimbabwe Nurses Association Harare executive member Chris Mnangagwa said.

Another nurse told the paper that she could not even administer drugs as the patients could not afford them.

“In my ward I didn’t even give medication because they did not have money to buy any medicine. The pharmacy here is very expensive and the hospital does not have any medication. Some will only have to wait for their relatives to come and buy,” the nurse said.

Efforts to get a comment from Moyo were fruitless as he was said to be in marathon meetings.

Early in the morning, Moyo had to sneak into his office after abandoning his car, hence entering incognito.

He later met with the hospital executive, officials from the ministry and the nurses’ representatives in different meetings to map a way forward to solving the crisis.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association secretary-general Enock Dongo said the nurses also pointed out that the private public partnership was not working as it was depriving the patients who should instead be benefiting.

“We are fully behind the nurses because they are being the advocates of the patients and they are raising genuine concerns,” Dongo said.

“The hospital’s lab and x-ray are also incapacitated but you find that the private ones are operational; at the end of the day it will seem as if there is some kind of sabotage somewhere.”

“Is this still a government hospital or it’s now a private facility? They should clearly state that. There are also reports of mismanagement of funds, with priority being given to luxuries for management.”