Health workers at the country’s biggest referral hospital, Harare Central Hospital, were on Monday forced to attend to patients using candles after a  power outage.

The incident occurred on Monday night after a Zesa Holdings (Zesa) unannounced power outage.

The power failure affected the hospital’s main building which houses the main female and male wards.

The wards which accommodate the bulk of patients at the hospital are usually serviced by a standby generator which automatically picks up whenever there is a power outage.

However, the generator failed on Monday night leaving the wards in the dark.

Although the situation appeared back to normal on Tuesday morning when the Daily News visited the hospital, some health workers expressed concern over the increasing constant power cuts saying the situation is affecting their ability to provide necessary medical care.

One junior doctor who wanted to remain anonymous said the problem could turn catastrophic.

“Nurses and doctors had to do their rounds using candles which was bad as the lighting is poor especially when there are patients with wounds that need checking,” he said.

In an interview,  Harare Hospital Operations Director Victor Gwata played down the effect of the Monday night power cut, saying it was addressed in reasonable time.

“We have three generators at the hospital that sustain us in the event that there is load-shedding or a blackout however, yesterday when the hospital experienced a power outage, one of our generators that feeds into the adult general ward failed to work,” said Gwata.

“The reason for the failure is yet to be known as the city council’s public works department is in charge of that,” he said.