Monday, February 20, 2012

Water for Old Mutare Hospital

Expectant mothers wait outside of Old Mutare Hospital in Zimbabwe. Photo: Kathy Kraiza/UMCOR

By Julie Warren, RN

Most families in Zimbabwe, including little Hope’s family, do not live in urban areas with easy access to health care.  Two weeks before Hope was due to be born, her mother travelled to the Waiting Women’s Shelter, a condemned building at Old Mutare Hospital, to ensure her daughter would be delivered safely in a hospital.

But the Waiting Women’s Shelter has no running water or bathrooms, and there is a constant battle against rodents.  Expectant mothers must cook their meals in an outdoor kitchen and fetch water from one of two wells on the hospital grounds.  When it was time for Hope’s mother to deliver, she did not have the luxury of a hospital with fresh running water. Instead, the nursing staff relied on a bucketful of water and an UMCOR birthing kit during the delivery.

Accessing safe water is a challenge at Old Mutare Hospital.  The 70-bed health-care facility lacks both clean running water and a properly working sewage system. Yet, the hospital plays a critical role. Nestled in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, it supports six rural clinics and serves more than 11,000 people.  Each day, Dr. Tendai Manyeza, a United Methodist missionary and the medical director of the hospital, faces the challenge of providing the best care he can for families like Hope’s.

Imagine if you or a loved one were delivering a baby or recovering from an infectious disease in a facility such as this.  What would be your prayer?

You can be the answer to the prayer of the thousands of people who rely on Old Mutare Hospital.  Help UMCOR bring the facility clean running water and repair its broken sewage system. Give to Global Water and Sanitation,UMCOR Advance #3020600.

Julie Warren is United Methodist Volunteer in Mission Coordinator for the Virginia Annual Conference.  

Zimbabwe is still facing emergency humanitarian challenges in the form of diseases like cholera, food shortage, and limited access to basic services. In 2009, Zimbabwe experienced an acute cholera outbreak with more than 100,000 cases and about 4,000 deaths recorded. The underlying causes are related to the lack of safe drinking water and inadequate sanitation, resulting in poor hygiene practices. Access to safe water supply and basic sanitation in Zimbabwe has eroded significantly over the last few years.                                                                                                 

1 comment:

  1. This is a true tragedy, but if the UMC had not kept making excuses for the dictator Mugabe over the last several decades, the situation proabably would not exist. Now the UMC excuse is that they cannot criticize the regime because it would imperil their missionary efforts. The bureaucrats in the UMC hierarchy, bishops included, have a lot to answer for in aiding and abetting this human tragedy by rushing to cozy up to Marxists masquerading as social justice advocates.