A multi-million dollar hospital project in Chiweshe at Howard Hospital hangs in the air after failing to meet the Ministry of Health requirements. This forced patients to remain in overcrowded wards at one of the biggest hospital in Mashonaland Central.

The new hospital that was completed in 2006 failed to take in patients after the Ministries of Health and Public Works deemed them to be unfit, citing structural defects in the completed structure.

Salvation Army  Lieutenant Colonel Langton Kazimpingani, who is the secretary for business administration, said that the present hospital complex is failing to cope with the influx of patients, some of whom travel from as far as Beitbrigde. “The Ministries said that the hospital had defects and recommended that we make new structures especially in the sewerage system and also the theatres.”

However, the church is struggling to raise the required money to make the necessary adjustments to open the facility up for patients. “We were told not to open the facility until we have addressed all the structural defects but our major constraint is a lack of funding because as a church we do not have any other source of funding. In order to make the required renovations we would need something between $3-5 million but as a church we do not have the money,” said Kazimpinga.

Patients interviewed said that they are short of space in the hospital that is now showing signs of age. 

With the public health sector still under stress, the sick in Zimbabwe have turned to mission hospitals that are funded by churches. However the increased volumes of patients has not been followed by infrastructural  expansion due to exorbitant costs of construction in Zimbabwe.