BY SILISIWE MABALEKA
THE Manama community in Matabeleland South province has called for urgent renovations of the mission hospital’s mortuary, which has not been functioning for more than three years now.
The calls come at a time when government recently allocated $28 million towards the renovation of the hospital’s maternity ward which was destroyed by hail storms.
Recently, Health ministry provincial officials revealed that the maternity ward had been renovated, while the mortuary was yet to be refurbished.
Villagers told Southern Eye that the closure of the mortuary for three years had been affecting them as they had to take their dead relatives’ bodies for storage to Gwanda or to private funeral parlours, which they said were too expensive.
Stanley Moyo, a villager, said they had to go to Topic Funeral Parlor, which is a private facility, but was unaffordable for many villagers.
“We end up going to a privately-owned mortuary where some of us do not afford the charges. It is so sad that nothing is being done to renovate the Manama Mission Hospital mortuary,” Moyo said.
Another villager, Langton Ncube, said: “We have gone for three years without mortuary services and we are continually losing a lot of money when our relatives die. The hospital mortuary charges were a bit affordable, but now we are forced to engage other expensive service providers. We end up burying our
relatives very early at our rural homesteads.”
Matabeleland South provincial medical director Ruth Chikodzore said the mortuary was still not functional, but would soon be rehabilitated.
“The hospital is still undergoing repairs after it was damaged by the rains, and other renovations are still ongoing, including the mortuary,” Chikodzore said.
Manama Hospital mortuary has a refrigeration facility for 12 bodies. None of the refrigerators are functional.