Manama, Rebuilding Mission Hospital One Donation at a Time
Diaspora community is also mobilising resources for the Manama Mission Hospital's refurbishment. Image by The Citizen Bulletin
The destruction of Manama Mission Hospital, particularly the maternity wing, has rallied Zimbabweans home and abroad to bring it back to life.
GWANDA (The Citizen Bulletin) — Eighty-five kilometres south of Gwanda Town lies Manama Mission Hospital, a health facility that mainly services Gwanda South and the Beitbridge West population. The hospital is also a referral point for other parts of the Beitbridge, Kezi and Maphisa districts.
On October 3, 2021, social media was awash with pictures of the hospital, decimated. The heavy rains coupled with strong winds had blown off roofs of the maternity ward, family and child health ward, female ward and Antenatal Clinic.
Four departments were damaged and this has forced hospital staff to rely on four remaining wards for patients. The rains also damaged solar panels, water tanks and telecommunication cables which then resulted in the suspension of critical services.
The disaster brought back the spirit of oneness for development amongst different community members who saw it fit to start fundraise for the refurbishment of the hospital. Diaspora community in South Africa and local members started WhatsApp groups to mobilise resources.
“We are progressing well however, my response is limited mainly to the South African side where I am coordinating the donations,” says Sinqobile Khobotho Ndlovu, Chief Coordinator in South Africa. “Currently (October 25, 2021) I have received R18 000 and with the month-end having begun today, I expect to receive more funds until the first week of November.”
Mike Dube, an assistant Chief Coordinator also based in South Africa, gives an account of how they started the funds’ mobilisation process and a breakdown of funds received so far, even for the Zimbabwean side.
“When we saw what had happened at the hospital we quickly communicated with the church and reached an agreement to form WhatsApp groups this side where people can join and pledge their donation either in cash or kind.”
Mike Dube, assistant Chief Coordinator
“As of today (October 25) we have managed to put together R18 114, P1 500, USD$700, AUD$1 475 and RTGS111 650 while some individuals have pledged to do roofing, painting and plumbing for free as their way of contributing to the repairs of the hospital. Allied Timber Company has also donated roofing timber for the maternity ward,” he says.
Manama Mission Hospital was built in 1939 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) using farm bricks and its roofing is a combination of corrugated iron and asbestos sheets.
Roof tops blown off by the heavy rains coupled with strong wind greatly affected the maternity wing of the hospital. Image by The Citizen Bulletin
According to a donations appeal letter dated October 6, 2021, from the Bishop’s Office, assessments made by government experts from the Ministry of Local Governance and Public Works damages at the hospital are estimated at USD$40 000.
“While several units were damaged, the maternity wing was greatly affected and needs urgent attention.”
…reads part of the letter
The damage at the hospital resulted in the suspension of services such as postnatal care services, isolation of COVID-19 positive mothers, antenatal care services, expanded programme of immunisation, maternity delivery services and integrated management of neonatal and childhood illnesses.
Forty-three kilometres away from the hospital is Sengezana Clinic where communities are now travelling to, to access vaccination and immunisation services.
“With the imminent rainy season and summer on us, the situation really needs urgent action from all angles,” says Bishop Michael Dube of ELCZ. “We are currently continuing to receive donations in cash and kind hence we are yet to collect what has been pledged. Government is also playing its role which we are sure will commence soon.”
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Civil Protection Unit (CPU) director Nathan Nkomo is quoted in the media saying they have mobilised ZW$5 million from temporary deposits accounts from various hospitals and the funds will be channelled towards the hospital’s refurbishment.
“We have moved ZW$5 million and we think those resources will see us through the rapid response system in putting Manama Hospital back to its functionality. When you look at Manama Hospital it is a referral hospital for many districts in the province like Beitbridge. So that kind of infrastructure needs our intervention,” says Nkomo.
Gwanda District medical officer Dr Blessed Gwarimbo says the Zimbabwe National Army has been seconded to assist in the rehabilitation of the affected wards and solar fields.
“We are now doing the tendering processes which will lead to buying of material for rehabilitating the hospital,” he says. “The normal procurement regulation has been shortened so that we speed up the process. We must be done with the tendering and buying of materials in the next three weeks. The army will do the construction work.”
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Gwanda town, Manama Mission Hospital, Hospital refurbishment , Diaspora community, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe, Donations
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