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Rot at Zimbabwe’s hospitals

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THE rot at Zimbabwe’s public hospitals continues unabated amid revelations that a new $70 000 dialysis machine sourced from China to benefit kidney patients at Masvingo General Hospital has been stripped of parts before it has even been installed.

Masvingo Mirror

Health minister David Parirenyatwa recently confirmed the matter and said investigations were being carried out.

Parirenyatwa said the government bought two dialysis machines for every provincial hospital in the country so that patients do not travel long distances to get the service, but sources said most of the machines have not yet been switched on because there are no resources for training specialised staff and constructing proper building structures for their housing.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people are dying every year because of kidney failures with Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and Mpilo Central Hospital being the only public health institutions with functional renal units.

Masvingo provincial medical director, Amadeus Shamu, said he was not sure whether the missing parts were stolen or misplaced. “We have conducted our own investigations and nothing fruitful has come out of it, so we reported the matter to the police last Thursday,” he said.

The machine is used for removing waste from the body of a patient with kidney failure.

Patients pay at least $200 per weekly sessions, which translates to $800 a month.

Renal patients use the machine three times a week, which in private hospitals costs them between $600 and $900 a week.

The procurement of the dialysis machines into public hospitals had brought relief to thousands of Zimbabweans, who suffer kidney failure, but cannot afford treatment. A few well-to-do Zimbabweans are getting treatment outside the country, particularly in India.

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