Top officials at Masvingo General Hospital disclosed that the health institution was also facing critical shortages for syringes used with the vaccine.
“Even if we have the vaccines, at times we do not have specific syringes for BCGs. The problem is serious and we have since discovered that the infant mortality rate is gradually increasing,” said the source.
Children are immunized to reduce their chances of getting infected by diseases such as tuberculosis, measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.
Masvingo Provincial Medical Director (PMD) Dr Robert Mudyiradima however, said the situation was not out of hand as portrayed by ‘mothers who rush to the press with their issues’.
“They are blowing issues out of proportion here. We are aware of certain problems that they may encounter but I assure you we will be able to deal with the problem swiftly,” Said Dr Mudyiradima.
However, mothers who are being turned away said their last hope was Mogenster Mission Hospital – which is run by Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ).
“We were turned away at Mazorodze clinic in Mucheke but some of the staff at clinic tipped us that we must go to Mogenster if we are really sure to get our babies vaccinated,” said Tracy Manzete.
Morgenster is about 30 kilometres away from Masvingo town. Those who went to Morgenster with their babies said they were being asked to pay US$ 5.
“We had no option. We went there (Mogernster) and we spent the whole day in a queue and we paid US$ 5 for the services per child,” said one mother.