By Thandeka Moyo
A fire has destroyed St Luke’s Hospital in Matabeleland North province. The inferno has brought hospital operations to a halt as all equipment, medicines and records were reduced to ashes.
St Luke’s is a Roman Catholic mission hospital situated in Kusile District, about 120km from Bulawayo along the Victoria Falls Road and is the biggest hospital in the province.
No one was hurt in the incident but the provincial medical director Dr Pugie Chimberengwa confirmed that medication and property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars was lost in the inferno.
He said the incident happened in the early hours of yesterday morning and the cause is yet to be established.
“We have received a report that the Family and Child Health (FCH) department at our designated provincial hospital St Luke’s has been burnt down. Equipment was reduced to ashes including the VIAC unit where cancer screening is conducted,” said Dr Chimberengwa.
He said five of the six rooms in the FCH department were severely affected and $250 000 worth of property was damaged.
“We also lost all cervical cancer screening equipment for the district in the fire. The Expanded Programme on immunisation (EPI) department also lost all fridges and their vaccines,” he added.
According to Dr Chimberengwa one of the gutted rooms had nutritional supplements for children with malnutrition.
“The same room had all vaccinations for the eight child killer diseases and we lost them too. All documents and registers are gone and we are not sure how we will continue operations,” he added.
He said the hospital had also lost documents for pregnant women referred from clinics around the province.
“We have since alerted the Civil Protection Unit and established a shift room for post natal care.
We will continue to offer HIV services while we try and find a solution,” he said.
Dr Chimberengwa appealed to well wishers and donors to chip in and help in refurbishing the hospital and purchasing the lost equipment and medication. The Chronicle