Thursday, November 27, 2008

DOCTORS STRUGGLE TO 'HOLD BACK TIDE' !

A 28-year-old Zimbabwean medical student speaks to the BBC about the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 360 people in the country since August
He describes his visit to two areas in and around the capital, Harare, that have been worst affected by the crisis.
I just came back from Budiriro suburb and the city of Chitungwiza near Harare, and the situation there is really desperate and critical.
At a clinic in Budiriro they were trying to treat hundreds of people.
There were so many that they had to lie them down outside.
While I was there perhaps 150 more people arrived looking for treatment.
The people arriving look extremely weak and dehydrated.
They could barely stand, and many came being wheeled in wheelbarrows.
They had to string up washing lines outside the clinic to hang the packets of intravenous fluid.
They lay on the floor while the tubes were inserted into their arms.
But these people were lucky.
Health workers at the clinic told me that until the day before they had no intravenous fluid.
The clinic had a delivery from an aid agency that day.
I don't know how long their supplies will last.
In Chitungwiza we saw that sewer pipes had burst, releasing sewage into the street.
Sanitation systems have broken down, so wells are being dug to find water
It was like a river flowing through the town, it just went on and on.
The stink was like a disgusting toilet.
I worry especially for the children, they're most at risk because they play in the street with all the sewage, and don't know how bad it is for them.
The cause of these bursting pipes is the lack of maintenance and repairs.
As time has gone on the people who were meant to be doing this have not been paid, or have deserted their jobs to do other work that can get them foreign currency.
And so the sanitation system has broken down.
In Harare itself people have avoided the disease, so far.
In other part of Harare the sanitation systems are still working, for the time being, but it's a very communicable disease and it is spreading quickly.
Doctors and nurses I speak to say they feel like they are being held to ransom by the government.
They're not being paid, they must work voluntarily to deal with this disease.
They are really very disgruntled.
They say they are just a few people holding back a tide of disease.
If we don't get some help soon it's going to be very tough.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home