Beira Central Hospital in “fragments”
Last rain “failed” the resistance of a block recently built and paralyzed surgeries
The largest health unit in the province of Sofala and a central regional reference, the Hospital Central da Beira (HCB) is left to its fate. The effects of Cyclone IDAI, with several infrastructures and services yet to be restored, have not yet been redone. The rain that hit that city for a week has flooded the rehabilitated operating room only a year ago, forcing the postponement of several surgeries. This hospital unit was also the target of a cyber crime that resulted in the diversion of about 9 million meticais, in collusion with internal employees, whose case already has pleaded defendants, which may trigger more frauds. In fact, there is a new process still secret from justice. Regarding the fight against Covid-19, the local health authorities consider the situation under control,
Following the torrential rain that shook the city of Beira on Wednesday morning, last week, the Central Hospital of Beira (HCB) was one of the worst victims, with the roof not supporting the largest water discharge in a short space time, affecting its normal functioning. This was the pretext for us to start a conversation with the director general of this health unit, Dr. Nelson Duarte Mucopo.
“We were really surprised by the rain that fell on Wednesday morning between 6:30 am and 7 am, we found that there was a large amount of water falling on the operating room, specifically in the first two rooms, room 1 and 2, it was in these places where the water accumulated and ended up draining in every operating theater ”, he explained.
Continuing, he said that at the time his colleagues tried to clean the water that was penetrating although it continued to rain, however, after the rain it was possible to clean the block to accommodate urgent operations. “We have a total of seven rooms in the operating room, only two suffered and five just needed cleaning, so we improvised two to perform cesarean sections. No urgent surgery was canceled, we continue to operate, but eight surgeries that had been scheduled have been postponed until next week ”, he revealed.
Asked about the reason for the infiltration, considering that it is a relatively recent infrastructure, our interviewee touched that “afterwards we tried to find out what had happened because, in fact, it passed a year after the rehabilitation and we realized that the pipes were insufficient to flush the water there. With the overload, rainwater overflowed to the ceiling of the operating room, having taken advantage of the tubing that was used to thread electrical cables and ended up falling into both rooms, ”he specified.
Regarding some solution in view, Nelson Mucopo said that the company that built the works was requested and that he had started with the correction process, while assessing the real extent of the damage. “A 70 mm pipe had been installed and the process of replacing these pipes with another 120 mm pipe is currently underway, including quantity. The builder did not foresee this amount of water, including other diversions that easily subloaded and consequently saturated the site. On the other hand, there was a place with a low elevation, it is a hatch that allowed the water to drop as it was the most inclined area ”, he added.
This hospital leader made it opportune to share a concern still in the context of infrastructures, highlighting that although the hospital had support for the partial reconstruction of the effects of cyclone IDAI, some buildings of this which is the largest hospital unit in the central area of the country, have not yet been intervened. “I am talking about the forensic service, pathological anatomy service, kitchen and guardhouse, everything is in any way, without prediction, due to lack of rasoures”, he said.
As a cry for help, this hospital leader appealed: “At this moment I wanted to ask for support from civil society, in general, due to financial limitations, for anyone who can support this rehabilitation process, a year and a half has passed and we continue to resent it the effects of IDAI ”, he lamented.
Only one death by Covid-19
Considering that the entire health system is committed to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to know from the general director, Nelson Mucopo, how this fight is being faced at the level of the Central Hospital of Beira. ”This is a new situation, nobody was prepared to face this challenge, we organized a contingency plan, we have a pre-screening place where the individual before entering the hospital is screened, in addition to suspicious individuals who there is a center to wait to avoid transporting the disease from outside to the hospital and whenever it is positive, it is evacuated to the pandemic center ”, he told us.
However, due to insufficiencies, he revealed: “the testing service is not performed at the Central Hospital of Beira, we just collect and send the samples to the DREAM laboratory, managed by the Center for Operational Research in Beira (CIOB) and then send us the results. Until then we have no reason to complain”, he considered.
Invited to talk about numbers, he said that “at this point we are talking about 1952 patients who were tested out of a total of 116,966 screened patients and those tested tested positive 105 tested, from March to the present period [end of last week] we only had one death ”, he said.
Regarding the effects of this pandemic on health professionals, he revealed that six (6) were infected but did not develop symptoms, so after enjoying the home quarantine, they returned to their normal activities.
Asked if Sofala province had the capacity to test everyone in good time, Mucopo distanced himself from the issue and recalled that no one was prepared, even in the old continent, alluding to Europe. “We were all welcomed by surprise, what should be done is being done, which is community work and if it is done well we probably will not have floods in health facilities to treat these patients, and unlike other countries the work should be done at the level community, neighborhoods, people should be made aware of preventive measures to ensure non-flooding in health facilities, I think we are at a good pace to meet expectations,”he said.
Embezzlement worsened financial insufficiency
Turning the page, we sought to find out about the stage of cybercrime that hospital unit was targeted, which resulted in the embezzlement of that hospital’s accounts of about 9 million meticais, aggravating its financial fragility.
“There was a crime and it is in the hands of justice, they were tried and convicted and confessed their involvement in the diversion of about nine million meticais and there is another process in the PGR that I cannot comment on for lack of elements. Everything is about the secret of justice, we will wait for its outcome, there are strong indications that the convicts collaborated with the internal public for this embezzlement”, he acknowledged.