Karanda Mission Hospital in Mt Darwin District of Mashonaland Central is recording an influx of patients who are coming from various parts of the country to access medical services at the institution which has continued to offer normal services despite the withdrawal of service by some medical personnel.

The industrial action by members of the medical fraternity in some parts of the country has left patients with no choice but to travel long distances to medical facilities such as Karanda Mission Hospital in Mt Darwin which has become a safe haven.

Karanda Mission Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Dr Paul Thistle said the numbers of patients flocking to the medical institution has swelled to twice the number obtaining three months ago.

“Everything is stretched, resources, the patients and staff trying to cope with this situation,” said Dr Thistle.

While patients are jostling for a few beds available in the wards, relatives accompanying them have resorted to sleeping outside the hospital premises with serious concern over health issues during the rainy season.

“We are spending three days sleeping out here and at the shops, there is great concern over water and sanitation, there are only four toilets two for the females and two for males hence we need eight more to be able to assist visitors,” he added

The Minister of State for Mashonaland Central, Senator Monica Mavhunga spoke on the need for both government and private players to contribute towards improving the situation at the hospital.

“We are appealing to those who can to avail tents as a temporal measure to be used as wards and accommodation for those bringing patients,” said the minister.

In May this year, Karanda attended 3 713 patients, a number which has almost doubled to 6 348 during the month of October.

Under normal circumstances, the hospital requires two doctors, 18 nurses, and 20 nurse aids, among other key staff compliment.

The maternity wards which occupied 382 patients in May are now accommodating over 600 as at the end of October which is a major cause for concern.

Karanda is a hive of activity, with merchants taking the opportunity to camp around to sell merchandise to those coming to seek treatment.