Harare hospital fixes blood analyser

HARARE - Harare Central Hospital — one of Zimbabwe’s major referral health institutions — has fixed its chemistry analyser machine, which tests blood samples among other, after it broke down nearly a fortnight ago, an official has said.

The hospital, in dire straits due to collapsing antiquated infrastructure and shortage of professional staff, had stopped taking biochemistry samples for analysis due to the breakdown.

Last week, the institution, which caters for poor ordinary Zimbabweans who cannot afford private health insurance, sent out a chilling memo to its staff advising: “Our chemistry analyser is not working. May you please stop collection of biochemistry samples until further notice.”

However, Health ministry permanent secretary Gerald Gwinji told the Daily News yesterday that the situation had since been resolved.

“The main machine was brought back on line.  There are actually two working biochemistry machines,” he said.

The hospital’s chief executive Nyasha Masuka concurred.

“Our biochemistry analysers are all working and we are not referring any patients outside for tests.”

The glitch comes as Zimbabwe’s health system is in bad shape, causing the suffering of many poor citizens, while the affording elite seek first-class health attention in neighbouring South Africa and abroad.

The health sector faces a myriad of  challenges which include poor budgetary funding, dilapidated infrastructure, antiquated equipment, shortage of drugs, brain drain, inhibitive costs and perennial strikes by demotivated medical personnel.

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