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Makonde District has only one hospital, no doctors, ‘lab is empty’

Makonde District in Mashonaland West Province, in north central Zimbabwe has one hospital called St. Rupert’s Hospital that does not have a single doctor and “the laboratory is empty” a senator has revealed in Parliament.

During a Senate sitting, opposition MDC Alliance senator Violet Moeketsi on Thursday last week asked the Deputy Healthcare Minister John Mangwiro what the government plan concerning health services in rural communities was.

“Thank you Madam President. I would like to thank the Hon. Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care for what he has said regarding hospitals. There is a place in Makonde, there is only one hospital in the whole district called St. Rupert’s Hospital,” she said.

“Hon. Minister, there is not even a single doctor at St. Ruperts, the laboratory is empty, it is not equipped. I am not quite sure what exactly you are focusing on. Are you going to focus on hospitals in the urban areas? At this hospital that I am referring to, there is not even a single doctor. So my humble request is that you assist us as people of Makonde to get a doctor. It is a mission hospital but there is not even a single doctor.”

In his response, Mangwiro asked Moeketsi to bring the issue to his office.

“Like I said before Madam President, we will not leave behind any hospital in the country. It might be a clinic or hospital that I did not reach on our tour but this is a specific question. I kindly ask you to come through to our office so that we discuss further and see how we can resolve this problem.

“You would actually assist us if you bring a detailed report to our offices so that we can work on the solution,” he said.

A recent Access To Public Health Monitoring report, published by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) established that access to healthcare in rural areas in Zimbabwe continues to be very problematic with the Covid-19 pandemic worsening the situation.

“A research by Mangundu et al (2020) revealed that accessibility of healthcare in rural areas is globally impeded by physical, material, human, financial, and managerial resources and societal barriers in the healthcare system and Zimbabwe is significantly affected,” ZDI said. Nehanda Radio

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