By Dumisani Nyoni
Esigodini, September 30, 2016 – ESIGODINI District Hospital has reportedly been hit by serious drug and staff shortages, forcing villagers to incur more costs through seeking medical services in Bulawayo.
This came out during a Tax Justice Training Workshop conducted by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) in Esigodini this week.
During the meeting, residents of the tiny town said they faced hardships as their local hospital was now dilapidated while also facing an acute shortage of health consumables such as drugs, detergents and food for patients.
One woman participant spoke of how she found herself travelling to Bulawayo, some 40km away, just to get access to amoxylin drugs for her child who was suffering from tonsillitis.
Contacted for comment, Umzingwane Constituency legislator, William Dhewa, said the infrastructure at the hospital was dilapidated and not up to standard due to lack of funds.
“This is the reason why you find that a number of patients are being referred to Bulawayo where there are better medical facilities. This, however, adds costs to the patients because they will have to incur travelling costs,” he said.
“This is the reason why we have been asking for a new hospital from the government because this one it’s no longer up to standard,” he said.
Dhewa said the hospital was operating with only two doctors.
After being sworn in as Health and Child Care minister in 2013, David Parirenyatwa, said plans were underway to build a district hospital in Esigodini but three years down the line, nothing has materialised.
He also said the government would also ensure a constant supply of drugs throughout the country’s hospitals and strengthening immunisation programmes as part of child care.
Recently, a tour conducted by Parirenyatwa revealed that Umzingwane District in Matabeleland South province has the highest HIV and STI rates in the country.