Patients’ hell at Mpilo hospital


MPILO Central Hospital paediatric section is now ordering patients to bring their own thermometers and needles, as the institution is relying on only one thermometer to service children who seek treatment.


Following an exposé by Southern Eye that the hospital was operating with only one thermometer, a reader spoke about his harrowing ordeal when he was forced to drive around at night after the institution told him to buy his own medical equipment.

The reader said his daughter was admitted after her temperature soared and to his horror, he was told by the doctor to bring his own thermometer.

“The doctor told me to bring my own thermometer as they were in short supply and what shocked me is that my wife called at 10pm telling me that my daughter would not get her medication, as they did not have needles,” he said.

“I went all over town looking for a 24-hour pharmacy and was directed to the one in Nguboyenja where I bought those needles for $1 for five.

“It was at exactly midnight when I got them.”

The parent expressed concern over the negligence of the nurses at the hospital and asked people to take action.

“The nurses no longer have their patients at heart, they only come for the night shifts to sleep,” he said.

Recently, a parent who visited the hospital with her child for treatment said the hospital was operating with one thermometer and no action was being taken by authorities.

The parent said the institution should put its house in order as this compromised the health of patients.

“We have ordered some thermometers to replace the ones that have been affected,” Mpilo chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba
“We have ordered some thermometers to replace the ones that have been affected,” Mpilo chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba

“This is really shocking for such a big hospital like Mpilo to operate with one thermometer and this shows that maybe other wards are facing the same problem,” the parent said.

When contacted for comment Mpilo chief executive officer Lawrence Mantiziba said the problem was that thermometers wear and tear due to high temperatures.

“We have ordered some thermometers to replace the ones that have been affected,” he said.

The chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health, Ruth Labode, expressed bewilderment that the institution was operating without thermometers and needles.

“A thermometer costs less than $10,” she said.

“It is not possible for any hospital not to have them.”

Reports are that hospitals across the country are acutely underfinanced and have huge debts.

“The hospital needs at least $2 million annually,” Labode said.

“They got $500 000 in the 2015 budget.

“They have no budget to cut from.

“Mpilo owes suppliers over $4 million.

It is the largest hospital in southern Zimbabwe and receives patients from Bulawayo Metropolitan province, the Midlands, Matabeleland North, Masvingo and Matabeleland South provinces.

Mpilo Central Hospital recently suspended surgical operations owing to a critical shortage of oxygen kits.


  1. Eish what a shame the hospital is under funded yet we have the money to throw a big party in Vic Falls all in the so called name of the revolution, where are our priorities in this country? Siyaphi sibili? Asilandaba lempilo yabantu kodwa sithi siyabusa kuhle

  2. Lingani please do not say “Si”. Wena awubusi. Kubusa OMphoko, oJonathan Moyo, oSimon Khaya lezophofu zamawarvet zingafundanga ezithi Zanupf zingakwazi lokuthi zenzani. Yizo eziya

  3. this ceo should be fired immediately… i wonder what more is in short supply. People are paying their bills and bona they are busy paying each other huge sums of monies fakhi this shit nxxxx….

  4. It is true that a number of institutions are poorly funded. It is equally true and worse still saddening to note that most of these CEO appointed to run these institutions seem to be overwhelmed by their responsibilities but are not man/women enough to own up and surrender. Instead they think of themselves and the rest of the connections down corruption line/network. They seem to work on 5 year-plans “to attain their personal enrichment targets.” There is no system- planning, accountability and control of subordinates. All what is wanted here is basic stores provisioning, you do not wait until a a particular commodity is exhausted. It is indeed strange for a hospital ward to operate with one thermometer. It is indeed more strange for a CEO of referral Hospital like Mpilo to proffer such an excuse. He seems to be covering up something. What is he afraid of? What are his credentials? There is a lot of rot going own in most Govt hospitals. The staff and their networks deliberately flout tender procedures in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the suffering common men. I suggest on their appointments these CEOs must given targets to achieve at specific intervals or time frames. Parent Ministries to supervise them very closely. Failure to meet the set targets must be met with appropriate sanctions commensurate to targets set and where appropriate these CEOs must be fired. Also their remuneration must be performance based. Alternatively we must revert to the old system of hospital administration we inherited from the whites. The CEOs must have some HR/ Logistics background for them to be effective. The parent Ministry must supervise these chaps.

  5. I’m glad that u have published my ordeal. Yes I’m the one who searched everywhere for the needles for my daughter to get her medication. I hope it will go a long way in helping poor, hapless patients and parents get the attention that they deserve. When my daughter was still admitted, I too was afraid to lodge my complaint, especially to the nurses, because I knew my daughter would have been in trouble, since they had the guts of, for example, falsely stating that they checked my daughter’s temperature at 3am, when in actual fact they didn’t even visit the ward at night. That made me fear them. I tried to no avail to plead with the doctor to transfer my daughter from the government hospital. Gentlemen and ladies if u haven’t been there to experience it, u will think it a joke or a fairytale. We were trapped in that place for a week, but it was as if we’ve been there for months. I have the names of the sisters on duty, especially the one I talked to on the night I looked for the needles, but I’ve left it all on God’s hands as I cannot jeopardise their jobs. Mpilo, as the name entails, used to be the life saver but now its the other round. I still cry for the powers that be, to bring back our hospital, bring back our life saver. if all this is done intentionally, then Mr CEO “…… you are worse than Book Haram.”

  6. This is totally insane, how can such big Hospital operates with 1 thermometer? very pathetic,selfish CEO’s with their fatal excuses.

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