Wednesday, 2 October 2019


Most of the 170 patients at Ngomahuru Psychiatric Hospital suffer from severe malnourishment after the institute ran from January 2019 to now without basic commodities including sugar, cooking oil, flour and meat.

Malnourishment is so severe that some patients are being transferred from Ngomahuru to Masvingo Provincial Hospital for treatment of malnutrition. Two inmates are currently admitted at the Provincial hospital.

The linen and sanitary situation is also dire with women on their menstrual circle said to be literally walking around with blood dripping.

The situation is so critical that the drugs that patients are taking for their mental conditions are having little effect because they need to be taken with food. The hospital’s sole source of funding is the Government but for now all it is providing is 1 tonne of maize a month.
The institute’s budget is a measly RTGS$400 000 which means excluding admin costs the patients survive on less than RTGS$6 per day or US30c.

Dr Parirenyatwa Maramba who is the resident doctor at Ngomahuru said patients have for the past nine months have been having porridge and tea without sugar in the mornings. There has been no bread at the hospital. The patients are being served sadza with boiled vegetables. There is no cooking oil.

“Food in the kitchen is just maize and salt. This means that breakfast is porridge and tea without sugar. When we are luck we have lunch of sadza with beans but it’s always vegetables (munjonjo) boiled in water with sadza.  We have not had cooking oil for a long time and the patients never have meat.

“The situation here is dire. We are desperate,” said Dr Maramba.
Last Friday, the hospital organised a tour for well-wishers in a bid to raise awareness on the situation and therefore appeal for donations. The tour was a flop as few people attended.
Dr Maramba also said that the hospital’s problems are exacerbated by the growing number of patients caused by the increase of those suffering from substance induced psychosis.
Hillthru Enterprises managing director Dr Benjamin Taguma Mazarire who was one of the few on the tour said, “This place is neglected, even the road that leads to this place is not deserving for such a big hospital. We need to revisit and help this place because the patients are part of us,” said Mazarire.

The Provincial Health Services administrator Never Chingosho was also present during the tour. Caritas board chair Fabian Mabaya said his organisation was going to seriously look into the issue.

The nurse-in-charge Nelson Marumura said the working conditions at the hospital have hit rock bottom. Masvingo Mirror


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