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Zimbabwe hospital suspends surgeries after drug shortage

SHORTAGE: Harare Central Hospital in Zimbabwe

ONE OF Zimbabwe's largest hospitals has suspended surgeries amid drug shortages.

A memo from Harare Central Hospital, one of Zimbabwe’s largest referral hospital, announced that it will stop all elective surgeries after it was discovered that pain relief meds were in short display.

The memo, distributed to staff of the hospital, said they will concentrate on Maternity, CEPOD Emergencies and ICU cases only.

“Due to the critical shortages of Pethidine, Injectable Morphine, Fentanyl, Adrenaline, ETT, Metochlopramide, Sodium Bicarbonate and antibiotics, it was decided after consultation…that we suspend all elective surgeries for the time being,” it read.

The reason given was to allow the hospital to restock.

The hospital’s clinical director, George Vera told local newspaper The Herald that the hospital is not getting necessary funding from the National Budget and relied mainly on user fees.

He added that they procured some pain drugs last week which would be reserved for emergencies only.

The memo however stated that the hospital will “use the opportunity to train nurses on the use of Morphine and Tramadol injection for post operative pain”.

The Harare Central Hospital is the oldest referral hospital in Zimbabwe.

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