Saturday, 21 May 2022

CLINIC CONSTRUCTION ABANDONED AFTER 40 YEARS

Health delivery services remain poor and in a state of neglect as villagers in Gutu East constituency’s ward 18 in Dewende area are forced to travel over 10km to access health services since a clinic in their area has been left dormant for over 40 years without any progress.

The area in which the clinic was supposed to be built has been left lying idle with pegs to indicate the place in which the council clinic was supposed to be built being the only sign of progress, which has prompted villagers to get services at the nearest Majada clinic.

Elias Nzombe from Dewende area said the clinic issue had been ignored for over 40 years and people have come to accept that it is normal like that as no one has the courage to talk about it in the village for fear of being victimized.

“There are a lot of issues happening but it goes unnoticed and people in areas like these are voiceless and sometimes afraid of being harassed. I am 40 years now and the clinic issue has been there since we were in primary school and since then nothing has been done. We have heard about the devolution funds but I do not think it is enough since I heard we only got US$ 2000 the whole district which went towards borehole drilling being the only project that is a little bit successful. We have never had any council meetings around here and the meetings are done to push political agendas, nothing is said of infrastructure development,” said Nzombe.

Another villager Nzwisiso Chavaidze said women are heavily affected and they risk being attacked by criminals since they have to travel such a long distance to get to the clinic.

“Women who are about to give birth deliver through midwives and sometimes it is very challenging since they would require medical attention after that but because of the distance, we sometimes give birth on the way to Majada clinic or give birth at home through the help of a midwife. Despite that you have to find someone to accompany you to the clinic for fear of being raped. It will be very risky to travel alone. Also on family planning services, we end up neglecting the process because the clinic is far, besides even that clinic is incapacitated,” said Chavaidze.

Ward 18 Councilor Martin Taderera said he had been trying his best to ensure development in the area and the furthest distance villagers would walk to the nearest clinic is eight kilometers which is reasonable considering that there are plots in the area.

“If people have something to say, they should do it directly to me. I know there are people who have been trying to de-campaign me. I have been trying to make sure that we have development in Dewende, so far we are trying to resuscitate the already available clinic buy putting up a section for pregnant women and I do not think that Dewende clinic is necessary now. We cannot start building a new clinic when the other is not yet finished. The ground is there, but I have no idea that it is still a matter of concern since it is something which was supposed to be solved over 40 years ago. The ward is very big and we are in plots the far villagers get to be treated is about eight kilometers,” said Taderera.

As most clinics are understaffed and face severe shortage of drugs which has now become a common problem throughout Zimbabwe’s rural communities, critical patients are now routinely referred to Gutu Mission Hospital.

According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, health facilities are not supposed to be five kilometers away. TellZimNews

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