GWERU Provincial Hospital is facing serious shortages of disposable latex medical gloves putting lives of patients at risk. STEPHEN CHADENGA OWN CORRESPONDENT
Patients have to wait for hours if not days as nurses fail to attend to them citing lack of gloves.
A patient in the female ward Jacqueline Chindozi, who was vomiting and looked dehydrated, was yet to be put on a drip by mid-morning on Wednesday as nurses said they were waiting for medical gloves from the hospital’s pharmacy.
A doctor had prescribed that Chindozi be infused with intravenous fluids after examining her on Tuesday afternoon, but she had still not been attended to by Wednesday morning.
A senior nursing sister at the ward, who cannot be named for professional reasons, told Southern Eye they could not attend to Chindozi without gloves.
“It is not our fault. We are looking for gloves from other wards and once we find some, definitely we will attend to the patient,” she said.
But other health personnel at the institution blamed the hospital pharmacy for not releasing the medical gloves on time.
“They (at pharmacy) say we are wasting gloves and would not give us adequate supplies and this has also affected our work in attending to patients,” another nurse said.
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It also came to light that at most times, a senior nurse in charge of a ward would be assisted by first-year students, who are not allowed to perform certain services to patients.
Efforts to get a comment from Gweru Provincial Hospital superintendent Fabian Mashingaidze were not successful.
In 2011, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights released a report which claimed employees at State-run health institutions were creating artificial drug shortages in order to sell the drugs at exorbitant prices in the black market.