‘Patients dying in hospital car park’ in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is struggling with a shortage of healthcare workers.

A number of medical staff have been on strike over their pay since before the pandemic began.

The shortage comes as the number of Covid-19 infections in the country begins to rise. Zimbabwe has nearly 4,000 confirmed cases and 70 recorded deaths. However doctors say the number is much higher.

Dr Rashida Ferrand, an epidemiologist at a public hospital in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare told the BBC’s Newsday programme: “Whilst we have the capacity, we’re currently relying on two volunteer doctors and a small group of nurses per shift.”

She said that they can only take a maximum of 30 patients due to staff shortages.

“We’ve had patients dying in the car park and unfortunately as soon as [we reach] the limit of 30 beds which I can cope with, given the staff I have, I have to say ‘no’ [to their admission] and that is a very gut wrenchingly difficult decision we’ve had to make over the last couple of weeks.”

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