Ingutsheni nurses walk to work

Nurses at Ingutsheni Central Hospital in Bulawayo have resorted to walking to and from work due to transport challenges, as there are no buses that ply their route.

The mental health institution is located along 23rd Avenue in Belmont East.

Giving a report to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Minister of Health and Child Care during a visit to the hospital on Friday, Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Nemache Mawere said lack of transport for the staff was a challenge that affected their work delivery.

“We need more vehicles for our nurses. Sometimes when our nurses finish work, it’s always difficult for them to go home but they continue coming to work even deciding to walk from town to here,” he said.

Dr Mawere said the mental referral hospital could do with buses to ferry staff.

“We need a big and small bus so that when there are less people, they can still be ferrying our staff up and down. This can actually improve morale of patients,” he said.

The Acting CEO also said the road network leading to the hospital was bad and needed to be attended to urgently, as it was full of potholes.

“This is something that we need to look into,” Dr Mawere said

In response, Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo who was accompanying VP Chiwenga said he would engage with officials from ZUPCO to allocate a bus that plied the hospital route.

“I will talk to ZUPCO to allocate a bus for staff here. This hospital is outside town, as for the road I will discuss the issue with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to do something, I’m sure the Minister of State (for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in Bulawayo, Judith Ncube) will also do the same,” Moyo said.

VP Chiwenga touring Ingustheni Hospital on Friday

VP Chiwenga also weighed in saying the government would have to buy buses for the hospitals in Bulawayo and would talk to the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development, Joel Biggie Matiza to have the Ingutsheni road fixed.

“When we go back to Harare, the minister of transport will have to work with BCC, he should just make sure that road is fixed and tarred. We have agencies such as the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA), which can come and do that piece of road, let’s make it a better place to live,” he said.

The VP added that the buses must be delivered to Ingutsheni and other hospitals in the city before year end.

“As we go back to Harare, I think in our kit we have some money, we shall provide you with buses for Ingutsheni. Let’s provide these for the hospitals but the first priority is the buses must come here then go to Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals. Those buses will have to be bought, God forbid, we want those buses to be here by the end of this year,” VP Chiwenga said.

Meanwhile, Ingutsheni Central Hospital has a 708 bed capacity and is currently attending to 600 patients in 15 wards.

According to Dr Mawere, Ingutsheni attends to about 2 500 to 3 000 patients in its outpatients department.

“Most of our patients consider Ingutsheni as their home, actually over 50 percent of patients have been admitted for over five years. The oldest patient has been here since 1952,” the acting CEO said.

“Our society stigmatises mental illness so it’s difficult to discharge patients home. Some of the patients have committed serious crimes, as we saw those admitted at Mambo ward, against their families and communities such as murder, rape so they don’t want to return to their home. Others have severe mental retardation and physical disabilities, their families cannot look after them so we keep them here until old age and death.”

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One Comment

  1. Thank you very much to all parties which were involved, hope all will be done early for the benefit of the patients.

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