BULAWAYO – A pregnant woman died on Sunday after an ambulance taking her to Bulawayo from Nkayi crashed on a treacherous stretch of road near Inyathi.
Patricia Nyoni, 35, was a referral from Mateme Clinic to Nkayi District Hospital after developing complications during child birth.
The diagnosis was hand prolapse and transverse lie – medical terms for a baby positioned horizontally across the uterus, rather than vertically, with a hand coming out first.
Staff at Nkayi determined that she needed emergency surgery – which the hospital is not equipped to handle. An ambulance – the only one working in the district – was dispatched to rush her to Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo at around 8AM on Sunday.
A hospital source said: “A wheel came off in an extremely bad part of the road and the ambulance overturned. The driver escaped unhurt but a nurse was treated at Inyathi hospital after sustaining some injuries.”
Matabeleland North provincial medical director Dr Admire Kureru said: “I can confirm that one of our Nkayi ambulances was involved in an accident on Sunday, and it appears a patient died. I’m still to get the finer details from the district medical officer.”
ZimLive has heard that Nkayi District Hospital has two ambulances, but one has been out of service for months.
The accident will once again shine a spotlight on the treacherous Bulawayo – Nkayi Road, a former tarred road which now has just a strip of tarmac and massive potholes either side.
The 150km road has been under construction for more than 20 years – in stop-start fashion, barely covering 5km at a time.
The crash also leaves Nkayi without a working ambulance. The one parked at the hospital, a donation from the European Union, is grounded with a gearbox problem and worn-out tyres.