Patients at the Gwanda Provincial Hospital are having no time to concentrate on their recovery process as they have to fight off marauding stray cats in the wards.
A source recently admitted at the hospital revealed to ZimEye.com that patients can hardly get their rest as the marauding cats run around the wards in search for food at the patients’ lockers. According to the source the cats now said to be witchcraft agents, are so cunning that they do not have to wait until night time to scavenge for food inside the wards.
“You can’t take time to relax because the moment you relax you hear things falling apart on or inside the lockers the cats stealing food stuff,” he said. “It’s just the same whether it’s at night or during the day.”
“The hospital staff appear to have given up the fight against the cats as they are not doing much to fight them off,” added the source in a WhatsApp tip off to the media.
Following up on the matter, several patients and members of staff within the hospital confirmed the menace of the cats to ZimEye.com. According to the sources within the hospital, the problem is more profound in the Female Ward and the hospital kitchen than anywhere else in the hospital.
“It’s a little better here in the male ward which is close to the busy Out Patients area,” said an employee at the hospital. “The situation is very bad at the female ward which is slightly to the back of the hospital where the cats easily sneak into the ward from the rear windows,” he added.
“These cats are so troublesome that they even get into cars parked within the hospital area searching for food,” said an official. “The only good thing about them us that they have eliminated the problem of rats and mice we experienced some years back.”
A quick tour around the hospital complex by the ZimEye.com correspondent revealed that the hospital is indeed a home to scores of stray cats. The animals were seen walking randomly around the hospital grounds without any restriction nor fear.
A visitor to the hospital identified as Lynette Dube lamented bitterly at the influx of the cats in the hospital calling on the authorities to get rid of the animals as they are a menace at the hospital and likely to carry infections into the hospital.
“My husband has been at the male ward for a while now and we can’t leave him extra food for him to eat later when he is hungry because the moment he falls asleep the food is stolen by the cats,” she said.
“It’s even getting very expensive for us because we now have to visit the hospital three times a day to bring him food,” said the relative.
Comment could not immediately be obtained from the hospital administrator but workers at the hospital confirmed and expressed their disgust at the animals claiming that the hospital has conceded loss in the fight against the cats.
An official within the hospital wards urged relatives of the sick not to bring too much food stuff for the patients as the excess food attracts the cats into the wards.
“Where possible I would urge relatives to bring in just enough food stuff for the patient to eat and finish and maybe just a little extra which can be put away easier as lots of food packed on the lockers attracts the cats.”