Power cuts cripple hospital


GWANDA Hospital, which serves as the Matabeleland South provincial referral centre, is facing operational problems because of serious power cuts affecting the town.


The situation at the hospital is further compounded by lack of funds to sustain the 600-litre capacity generator.

Matabeleland South provincial medical director William Busumani said the hospital was forced to cut off power in some sections of the institution when using the generator to fully cater for the most critical sections such as the maternity wing and theatre.

“This is because the generator consumes too much fuel, thus if power is cut off for four hours, it means that 200 litres of fuel will be consumed and due to lack of funding, we fail to use the generator because it is expensive to run,” he said.

“The situation at the hospital is serious because of the power cuts. Patients’ blankets and sheets have gone for weeks without being washed as washing machines are no longer in use due to load-shedding,” he said.

Busumani revealed all this during a tour of the health facility by Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Matabeleland South Abedinico Ncube on Monday.

Ncube promised to plead with Zesa to consider excluding the hospital from its load-shedding schedule.

Provincial administrator Midard Khumalo said the issue of load-shedding was not only affecting the hospital, but the business community and all the province’s households.

“We wish the minister can attend to the Zesa issue to make life better for people of his province,” he said.

Zesa intensified load-shedding in the past few weeks because of reduced local power generation and imports from Mozambique.

The troubled power utility, recently forced to write off debts for domestic consumers, said the scheduled maintenance works at its stations would only be completed early next year.