By Nhau Mangirazi
There is a need for Hurungwe agro-business to help health facilities facing challenges.
United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean philanthropist Gratiano Paul Mhunduru called on locals to help out in a small way as it makes a difference. He said this when he handed over 140 blankets, 140 sheets, and 3 BP checking machines to Hurungwe district hospital in Karoi town on Monday.
Mhunduru leads a 12-member team originally from Hurungwe district within Mashonaland West province. The majority of them are based in the diaspora.
‘‘Hurungwe District Hospital is facing a dire situation. One of our parents (Jaison Mhande) was admitted to the hospital without blankets for patients. It was so touching to experience that we so thought of coming up with this small token.
“We are challenging farmers around Hurungwe to plough back to the community. Our district is a prime area of maize, tobacco, and other cash crops. Farmers can donate peanut butter for patients and it is a small way of helping out,’’ said Mhunduru.
Mhande, an elderly man from Doro in Hurungwe West, said the donation will go a long way for the Hurungwe community.
‘‘My daughter-in-law checked on me when I was ill but there were no blankets. The situation has changed for the better now at the hospital,’’ he said.
The maternity ward is the worst affected.
A tour revealed that some expecting mothers were bringing their own blankets and wrapping clothes and water.
The 30-bed maternity ward is sometimes filled with expecting mothers that have seen some being discharged soon after giving birth although they must spend at least 3 days after birth.
‘‘At times some expecting mothers will be sitting or sleeping on the floor,’’ said a nurse.
Mhunduru called on the agro-business community to help out.
‘‘Our district is rich with both human and natural resources but we need to use these effectively. As part of the community, we have done our part and hope to do more. We want to help our own area that raised us to be where we are. The ceiling is falling down and we need to make it look better,’’ he said.
Hurungwe District Service Administrator, Chido Mhlanga, said the hospital is facing acute water challenges affecting the maternity ward and theater departments, among others.
‘‘We need a permanent water solution to our challenges,’’ she said.
Karoi Town Council Chairperson, Abel Matsika, said the gesture will help affected patients and health staff at the hospital.
Hurungwe district hospital has 140 beds and is the referral district covering 34 outlying clinics from Karoi town and Hurungwe rural district councils and Chirundu local board as local authorities. The farming district has an estimated population of over 500 000.
It is one of the prime districts producing tobacco resulting in over 15 tobacco merchant companies flooding the area but hardly giving back to the community.
Hurungwe is one of the largest districts that produce maize which made Zimbabwe a Southern Africa Development Community bread basket soon after independence. It is also good for tobacco, with over 15 merchants flooding for auction floors. Of late concerns have been raised over the failure to plough back to the communities by the tobacco companies.