BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
AN X-RAY machine worth over US$25 000 has been lying idle for the past five years at Sadza District Hospital in Chikomba due to lack of a specialist to install it for use.
The hospital, which is the biggest in the district serving a population of over 130 000, refers patients who have complications requiring X-ray services to Murambinda and Marondera, about 200km away.
The X-ray machine, donated by a local non-governmental organisation, has been in the open where it was exposed to sun and rain.
Sadza District Hospital administrator Hazel Gusha confirmed to NewsDay Weekender that the machine was lying idle, but referred further questions to the district medical officer Robson Mahachi.
Mahachi said he was not aware why the machine was not being used.
He said: “I have approached the provincial medical officer’s office and notified him about the issue. We requested for engineers who can examine the machine, but I don’t have any meaningful reason why the machine is not being put to use.”
Health workers throughout the country have staged demonstrations on several occasions, demanding that government improve their working conditions, including provision of medical equipment.
Mashonaland East Zimbabwe Nurses Association chairperson Stewart Mudzingwa, also a nurse at the hospital, said government was neglecting equipment which was donated which implied lack of commitment to ensure effective health service delivery.
“It’s a bad situation for health service delivery as poverty-stricken rural populace has to incur unnecessary expenses in their quest for X-ray services,” Mudzingwa said.
“Government should have ensured that the donated machine was functional soon after the donation but here we are, five years down the line, a very essential machine in any public hospital is lying idle.”
Mashonaland East acting provincial medical director Paul Matsvimbo refused to comment on the matter.
- Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya