MOSQUITOES and cockroaches have become an everyday menace for patients and nurses at Victoria Falls Hospital.
By Nokuthaba Dlamini
Several patients interviewed by Southern Eye said they were having sleepless nights because of the mosquito and cockroaches menace. Mothers said they had woken to see mosquito bites covering their babies’ faces and hands.
“The buzzing sound of mosquitoes keeps me awake. I normally cover myself with blankets to protect myself. It is too hot and they breed a lot,” one mother said.
“My baby’s ears and hands have red marks,” said another mother who refused to be named.
A just-discharged patient also complained about lack of mosquito repellents or mosquito nets at hospitals.
“Three days ago, I struggled to sleep at night in this referral hospital. How can I get well from malaria when mosquitoes bite me because of lack of hospital nets in the room? This is a pure paradox that there is no mosquito bed nets to support the sick in this clinic and cockroaches run up and down even in the toilets at night.”
Another parent, whose child was admitted, also complained about the lack of mosquito nets at the institution.
“Before we took her to Mpilo (Central Hospital) in Bulawayo, she had reacted badly and she had bites all over body. She kept scratching and I feared that she might suffer from malaria. Government needs to intervene. There is no medication, some windows are broken and the mosquitos are terrorising sick patients who can’t defend themselves,” Ndaba Ncube said.
Although he acknowledges the presence of mosquitoes at the hospital, district health practitioner Wisdom Kurauone suggested there was no serious problem at the hospital and said he did not believe that mosquito nets were necessary as it was the season for them to breed.
“There is nothing that we can do. Hwange district is known for its high temperatures and mosquitos and cockroaches breed during that time a lot. They [mosquitoes and coackroaches] are not only breeding in hospital, but their houses too,”
“They are just causing a nuisance and they cannot cause malaria . . . they won’t infect anyone with malaria.”