‘Shortage of drugs, staff at hospitals worrying’

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CHINHOYI — Health officials in Mashonaland West have expressed concern over the shortage of doctors with the province’s largest referral centre, Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, operating with about half its normal staff complement of nine doctors.

Provincial medical director Wencelaus Nyamayaro told NewsDay last week government hospitals had 10 out of a possible 36 doctors.

Although there were optimal nursing staff complements at all the 189 health centres across the province, Nyamayaro said there were inadequate doctors with the vacancy level at 72%.

He also lamented the shortage of all categories
of medical drugs at all health centres across the province.

“There are basically three categories of hospital drugs namely vital, essential and necessary, which are currently at 62%, 48% and 34% levels respectively,” said Nyamayaro. He added vital drugs, which include anaesthetics and antibiotics, are supposed to be at 100% at all times.

He conceded the dire situation at hospitals and clinics puts the lives of patients at very high risk of death.

He also disclosed there were inadequate vaccines for the six child-killer diseases, among them, malaria drugs.