By Alois Vinga
MIDWIVES manning Sally Mugabe Hospital’s maternity ward have withdrawn their services over lack of Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment.
The health workers have also blamed health minister and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga for alleged failure to listen to their concerns.
An executive with the Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) at the hospital who preferred anonymity for fear of victimisation described the situation at the government institution as dire.
“Yes. nurses at the maternity ward have downed tools for fear of contracting the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. We are receiving theatre face masks only without the shields, gowns, spectacles and other essentials.
“The unfortunate death of one of the unit’s matrons after contracting the virus and the confirmed cases of 15 nurses in the ward in recent days has triggered fear among fellow nurses prompting their actions,” he said.
The ZINA official slammed Chiwenga for allegedly enforcing a “military style” management system at the institution, something that he says has further complicated the situation.
He said even the hospital’s top management is scared to openly approach Chiwenga over pertinent issues affecting staff.
“His predecessor (Obadiah Moyo) was far much better because he was open to dialogue.
“Now things have changed for the worst as most nurses are living in both hardship and fear because if you raise any complaints, you risk unknown backlash,” he said.
He added that previously set conditions allowing nurses to turn up for duty two times a week in a bid to lessen the chances of being infected by the pandemic were reversed to five days a week by Chiwenga.