Mystery surrounds hospital’s renal unit

Mystery continues to shroud the delayed opening of a state-of-the-art renal unit at Masvingo Provincial Hospital, almost four years after Government acquired dialysis machines from India.Previous attempts to open the unit, a key lifeline for kidney patients, hit a brick wall amid reports of deep-seated bureaucracy which is reportedly stalling its operationalisation.

The boobs continue to cost kidney patients from around Masvingo Province who still have to resort to private medical institutions for dialysis services or travel to Bulawayo or Harare to access services at State-run hospitals that are reasonably affordable.Masvingo Provincial Hospital is the province’s health referral institution and opening of a renal unit was expected to ease the burden on kidney patients.

In 2017, Government procured top-of-the-range dialysis machines from India to equip the Masvingo Provincial Hospital renal unit.Initially, the opening of the unit was delayed after some of the machines’ critical components went missing before they were subsequently replaced.Four years down the line, the unit is still grounded, deepening the mystery behind the situation.

Masvingo Provincial Hospital medical superintendent Dr Noel Zulu confirmed the renal unit remained closed.He said the unit briefly operated in the past but has sinceclosed.

“The renal unit is not open at the moment because we are still waiting for the machines (dialysis) to undergo servicing,” said Dr Zulu.

“The machines require servicing before we can start using them again and we are waiting to get a contractor to do the work.”

Dr Zulu said the Ministry of Health and Child Care would designate the contractor to do the work.

“We are not sure when the contractor will do the work; weare just waiting for further instructions from head office (in Harare),” he said.

“The machines need to be serviced before they can be used.”

Delays in operationalising the renal unit has disappointedresidents and kidney patients who have to dig deeper into the pockets to secure renal services from private players.”

Presently, Makurira Memorial Clinic in the city and two other private health institutions offer dialysis services but the costs are way out of reach of ordinary people.

This has heightened calls for Government to speedily intervene and make sure the renal unit at Masvingo Provincial Hospital is opened.

Masvingo Provincial Medical Director Dr Amadeous Shamu could not be reached for comment but in the past, he indicated that the renal unit was close to opening.

At one time, it emerged that the opening of the unit was delayed as the hospital was still waiting for personnel to undergo training.

The opening of the renal unit will expand specialist health services on offer at Masvingo General Hospital, the biggest health institution in the province. —The Herald.

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