An electric power outage at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare, Zimbabwe, has led medical authorities to send patients home until electricity can be restored.
One doctor at Parirenyatwa who declined to be named told VOA that the intensive care and kidney dialysis units are most affected as they have more equipment drawing power. He said outpatient services have continued with limited generator power.
Hospital sources said a major power cable burned out on Saturday. They said workers from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority staff were trying to restore power.
Patients could be seen Monday grappling through dark corridors as they sought medical assistance, sources said. Dialysis patients received text messages telling them to stay at home Monday and wait for another text telling them power has been restored.
Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights said the country’s chronic power woes must be addressed to prevent needless loss of life.
Elsewhere, modest increases in prices of basic goods pushed living costs for an urban family of six to US$504.05 from $501.79 in April, according to the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says. It said rent, water, electricity and education costs held steady.
Consumer Council director Rosemary Siyachitema said that although price increases are marginal – sugar for example was up just 5 cents, milk by 3 cents – urban workers feel pinched due to their very wages which have hardly increased since 2009.
Development worker Liberty Bhebhe said any price increase affects most Zimbabweans.