Water, electricity cuts shut Comoros main hospital

The main hospital of the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros has stopped admitting patients over the last five days due to water and electricity shortages, doctors said Friday.

"There is no water, no electricity, toilets are not working," Thayatti Hamidou, an anaesthetist at the El-Maarouf Hospital of Moroni, told AFP.

"We cannot keep patients in wards, carry out (laboratory) tests, deliver babies or carry out surgeries in the dark," said the head of the dermatology department Tadjiri Hamada. "It's a defacto closure of the establishment."

In an economy that has been weakened by political instability, the Comoros' cash-strapped state utility firms are failing to maintain existing infrastructure.

The impoverished archipelago, situated just off the coast of Mozambique, experiences daily power cuts.

The hospital's overworked back-up generators also packed up earlier this week, plunging the health care facility into total darkness, the doctors said.

Since gaining independence from France in 1975, the archipelago of three islands with a combined population of less than 800,000 people, has witnessed more than 20 attempted coups, four of which were successful.