Norman Matara, the Treasurer of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, has said that the idea of designating Wilkins Hospital the institution for infectious diseases instead of tertiary hospitals including Parirenyatwa and Mpilo is not a noble one as the institution is incapacitated.

We present below Matara’s full Twitter thread.

1. The argument that Wilkins Hospital has no capacity to continue acting as the main referral centre for suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases has been put beyond reasonable doubt. Forget the Zororo saga, I make reference to two events that happened yesterday.


2. Patient was seen at Parirenyatwa isolation tent in the afternoon. Very sick, Temp 39.7, had dyspnea, saturating @80%, referred to Wilkins. The city of Harare said no free ambulance. Parirenyatwa can’t take him in, protocol is they cant take suspected infectious cases. The patient was left for almost 6 hours.

Wilkins calls in the evening, say even if the patient was to walk or get private transport, they can’t take him in since they have poor lighting. Eventually said they would send ambulance around 2000hrs.

3. The patient was seen at Pari again. Possible contact, works on the till at a local food outlet. Had respiratory symptoms, shortness of breathing, Flue symptoms, sore throat, uses public transport to go home, Wilkins just refused to take in patient, said: “it’s after 6, we have poor lighting.”

The city of Harare is refusing the UN protocol of diagnosis, saying govt hospitals should treat, Gvt hospitals are saying we are not mandated, capacitated, or trained to manage infectious diseases. The patient is there and sick, and is caught in the middle.

As @SibandaSibbs puts it here the decision to have major tertiary hospitals like Parirenyatwa referring serious cases to primary care centres like Wilkins was made without insight. IMO it queries the credentials of those who made such decisions.

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