Zimbabwe Patients Bring Own Candles and Matches to Hospital

CORRECTING PHOTO DATE TO JULY 23 - Due to lack of electricity, Learnmore Mavhura, right, helps his 9-year old nephew Lionel, left, do his homework by candlelight at a roadside market stall in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, July 23, 2019. For many Zimbabweans the economy is worse now, two years after the downfall of longtime leader Robert Mugabe.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Chiredzi — THE effects of load shedding have been heavily felt at Chiredzi General Hospital, southeast of Zimbabwe as patients and women on maternity are required to bring their own candles for light.

Load shedding has become a big blow in the health sector as rudimentary ways of taking care of patients are being revived.

In an exclusive interview with CAJ News Africa, one concerned father to a newly born baby, Munyaradzi Tawanda stated that it is worrying to have an expecting wife when the hospital is unable to provide all the services that are essential to ensure a safe delivery.

He went on to explain his personal experience where his wife was required to have a scan but the district hospital could not perform it because of the unavailability of electricity. Tawanda was left with no option but to go to a private hospital.

“Private hospitals are not affordable for those who are not employed and you can see that it is a very big challenge to the Chiredzi citizens,” he said.

“When my wife was expecting, I was not settled because we did not do the scan as required and I was afraid that she might have complications.”

Many citizens are very worried especially for the lives and health of newly born babies.

Cornwell Mangisi said, “Every child needs light when they are born, but because the hospital cannot provide the light for them, they are being traumatised because the first thing they see is darkness”

He also said he felt concerned for those who do not afford to buy candles because some nurses might not understand their situation, therefore making it difficult for both the nurses and the patients.

“People are being taken back to those old days when people were used to giving birth in a hut or being treated by a traditional healer using firewood as their source of light.

“Surely, load shedding should not have to go this far, very soon we will go back to consulting traditional healers because there is no different with going to the hospital,” said Tawanda Chikocho, a concerned local citizen who had come to visit a relative who was admitted at Chiredzi General Hospital.

All these questions were left unanswered as the superintended of Chiredzi General District Hospital Dr David Tarumbwa could not explain because he said he was too busy to have an interview with CAJ News.