THREE nurses at Ingutsheni Central Hospital in Bulawayo have been attacked while attending to mental patients as the institution grapples with a shortage of anti-psychotic drugs to stabilise them.
The hospital’s chief executive officer, Mr Nyasha Chibvongodze, told The Chronicle on Wednesday that the hospital only has 10 percent of the required drugs, putting the lives of both patients and staff at risk.
Mr Chibvongodze was speaking on the side-lines of a hand-over ceremony of 37 mattresses donated by the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South. He said due to the shortage of drugs, mental patients become aggressive and abuse nurses.
“Since January we had two incidents where nurses were assaulted by patients while the third one had his spectacles broken by a patient. However, we can’t blame the patients for this because they’re ill. We need the anti-psychotic drugs to stabilise them,” Mr Chibvongodze said.
He said Treasury released only $70 000 in February from the $900 000 that was allocated to the institution in the 2016 budget.
“When their relatives leave them here they don’t visit them. Mental illness is a chronic illness just like diabetes. Do you neglect your relative because they’re diabetic? Some of these patients suffer from relapse because they become unloved at home,” he said.
Mr Chibvongodze appealed to donors to assist the hospital saying due to budgetary constraints they were facing hard times.
“Our patients need almost everything from us because they’re economically unproductive. From linen, uniforms, food and drugs the hospital has to provide. We’re therefore appealing to members of the public to assist us in taking care of our patients,” he said adding that uniforms are important for the institution as that makes it easier to identify patients.
Mr Chibvongodze expressed gratitude to the Rotary Club of Bulawayo South for donating to the institution. Rotary Club of Bulawayo South president Mr Roger Russell urged other institutions to assist Ingutsheni.
“We saw the need and we responded. This is part of our social responsibility. We need to help the Government and before we go outside to look for help we need to help ourselves,” said Mr Russell. chronicle