By Miriam Mangwaya
NURSES at Sadza District Hospital in Chivhu yesterday demonstrated against lavish dietary spending by their administration which they said contrasted with the poor meals served to patients.
The nurses walked from the hospital driveway to the administration block, holding placards and singing songs denouncing the institution’s administrators.
Some of the placards read: We need our patients to be prioritised and Sei D.H.E (District Health Executive) Muchidya Chikafu Chakanaka Varwere Vasina (Why do you lavishly serve yourselves while patients are starving).
Contacted for comment, Sadza District Hospital medical officer Hugh Manyere said he was busy.
“I have some visitors who want to donate towards Cyclone Idai. I can’t comment at the moment,” he said.
Confirming the demonstration, Mashonaland East Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association chairperson Stewart Mudzingwa said nurses had written several letters to the district health executive, complaining about poor working conditions and neglect of patients, but there has been no response yet.
“The demonstration was justified because there are some issues which we feel should be addressed locally for smooth service delivery rather than to wait for government intervention,” Mudzingwa said.
According to a source who participated in the demonstration, the hospital administration is buying lavish foodstuffs such as bacon and eggs for breakfast and soft drinks, among others, as part of their daily meals.
The nurses said patients’ meals had become a subject of concern with the health institution sometimes failing to provide bread and other basic foods.
Funds used to purchase food for both patients and hospital executives is raised from fees paid by patients and incentives offered by some non-governmental organisations.
A percentage of the amount is expected to go towards improvement of hospital infrastructure and patients care, most importantly to provide a balanced diet for them.
“The hospital’s maternity ward, for instance, which is supposed to be a private room has a broken door which makes it difficult for health practitioners to work in such an environment,” the source added.
Sadza District Hospital is located 100 kilometres from Chivhu town in Mashonaland East province.