Dr. Tendai Manyeza examines a patient at the Old Mutare Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe. Photo: Courtesy Old Mutare Mission Hospital.
This article was first published in the March-April 2014 issue of New World Outlookmagazine. Also read about past Zimbabwe missionaries Dr. Marvin & Carolyn Piburn.
Christie R. House: Dr. Tendai Manyeza, I know that you serve Old Mutare Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe. In what capacity do you serve?
Tendai Manyeza: I am a doctor there. I do a lot of work in the maternity ward, the outpatient ward, and the inpatient units. I am also involved in outreach work.
What kind of outreach work?
T. Manyeza: We have six United Methodist rural health centers (clinics), and three non-United Methodist clinics that use our hospital as a referral center. The six United Methodist clinics are located in various other areas of the province, each being staffed by two nurses and two nurses’ aides. We schedule support and treatment visits to each of the UMC clinics. The clinic nurses usually book patients for the doctor.
What do people come to the clinics for?
T. Manyeza: Each clinic is a first-level primary-care center. Patients of all ages arrive there with all kinds of conditions. Most common are children with upper respiratory conditions, diarrhea, and skin conditions. We see adults with chronic conditions, such as asthma, hypertension, heart disease, HIV/AIDS-related diseases, and musculoskeletal conditions.
Tell me a little more about the hospital.
T. Manyeza: Old Mutare Hospital is a 70-bed unit, meant to serve a catchment area of 5,000. Though the catchment area has grown to about 12,000, our infrastructure has not grown to cope with the increasing population. We provide mainly curative work in both outpatient and inpatient facilities. Another busy unit is the maternity ward, where we deliver 50 to 60 babies a month. We see 60 to 70 outpatients a day. I’m currently the only doctor. We have 13 nurses and 30 support staff.