MASVINGO General Hospital mortuary is set to receive a major facelift after a local funeral parlour offered to refurbish it under a public-private-partnership (PPP).
BY REGIS CHINGAWO
In 2007, some politicians from Masvingo carried out a fundraising campaign towards the construction of a new mortuary for the hospital, which serves 1,5 million people in the province, but their efforts came to naught amid allegations that the politicians hijacked the project for political mileage ahead of the 2008 general elections.
During the government of national unity, some refurbishments were done at the mortuary at a cost of $28 000, but the money was insufficient to complete the work.
Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, the hospital’s medical superintendent, Julius Chirengwa said the partnership would be a milestone achievement, as the mortuary, which at times is overloaded with uncollected bodies of road accident victims, will undergo some improvements.
He, however, declined to name the hospital’s benefactor, saying they were yet to conclude the deal.
“Currently, we have mortuary A and B, whose combined carrying capacity is 24 bodies. Mortuary B was refurbished during the unity government era, where a new cold room was installed at a cost of $28 000,” he said.
“But the refurbishment process was incomplete due to lack of further funding.We are, however, grateful that under the public-private-partnership arrangement, with a local funeral parlour, we will be able to carry out further refurbishment of the two mortuaries. A new chapel and proper office will be constructed, while a state-of-the-art cold room will be set up.
“Ideally, the project could have started during the first quarter of 2015, but as we speak, modalities are still being done at Attorney-General’s Office. Feasiblity studies have been carried out, but off hand I cannot give the actual cost of the project.
“The mortuary structures here are now old and not up to standard and it is our hope that under the new deal, we will have a new state-of-the-art mortuary.”
In recent years, the morgue has been described as the worst in the country, with up to 40 bodies piling in the cold room, way beyond its capacity.
The hospital is located along the Harare-Masvingo highway, where fatal road accidents are commonplace