Artisanal miners dominate Pari ward

Talent Gore

ARTISANAL miners account for the majority of cases being admitted at the recently-opened high dependency (HDU) unit for respiratory ailments at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

The unit which has been operational for four months, treats persons with pulmonary infections such as pneumonia, diabetic, diabetic ketoacidosis, COPD, silicosis, to mention but these. Speaking to journalists during a tour of the unit, the head of the HDU, Dr Felix Manyeruke, said they were treating a lot of these artisanal miners, popularly known as makorokoza, in their unit.

“We’ve got bronchiectasis, which is affecting, I think, the majority of our patients, who are the artisanal miners, makorokoza. 

“So, we take care of lots of patients who are affected by dust exposure while they are mining. These are the majority of patients we treat in this HDU with acute lung disease,” he said.

Dr Manyeruke said they are seeing a large number of asthma cases at the unit.

“The burden of respiratory illnesses in Zimbabwe is high. 

“Asthma is the most common condition. 

“I think Zimbabwe, in the world, in terms of asthma deaths, we are number 40. 

“That’s our contribution in terms of asthma deaths.

“So, we’ve got lots of patients with respiratory disease.  And, most of these respiratory diseases occur at home.” 

Other diseases treated in this special unit include post COVID lung disease, post TB lung disease and pulmonary fibros.

“So, we offer, our services to the acutely ill patient but also offer an outpatient clinic.”

Dr Manyeruke said they were in the process of setting up a simulation lab for the training of junior doctors in various pulmonary health procedures.

The 20th China medical team captain Dr Ou Yang, who is a pulmonologist, said the establishment of the respiratory centre will help improve health care for many Zimbabweans.

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