Ward 12 villagers in Sontala, Matobo are appealing for donations to complete the construction of a clinic in their ward as part of efforts to boost access to primary health care.
Through household contributions and assistance from their children based in South Africa and Botswana, the structure of the clinic is almost at window level and a perimeter fence has been erected.
The idea to construct the clinic was mooted four years ago during a public meeting organised by Habakkuk Trust where villagers lamented the number of home deliveries, premature deaths and people with chronic diseases defaulting due to the absence of a health facility in the ward.
“This was the community’s idea, 5 years back through Habakkuk Trust community training where we focused on development, health sufficiency and so forth, so the issue that they identified from that training was the need for a community clinic, it emanated from that,” said Habakkuk Trust Chief Executive Officer Dumisani Nkomo.
Once completed, the clinic is set to alleviate the plight of community members who are currently struggling to access basic health services because of the long distances they have to walk to Mbembeswane clinic, Kezi or Maphisa Hospital. The Children’s Hope Foundation has, however, pledged to assist the community with equipment that will go a long way in promoting access to basic health.
“As a foundation we have had a lot about the community’s efforts and we wanted to assess the needs and how we can contribute to the project. Now that we know what is lacking, we will try to get more resources to assist the community,” said the Foundation’s representative Lovemore Dube.
“We also have some clinic equipment we would like to donate once this health facility is open,” he said.
Contacted for a comment, Bongi Ndlovu, Habakkuk Trust Action Team Convener at Sontala said the completion of the clinic is going to assist especially pregnant women who fail to access the nearest clinic which is in ward 11.
“Ward 12 does not have its own clinic; the only nearest clinic is in ward 11 which is 7 to 8 kilometres away. Following the unavailability of a clinic in our ward, most pregnant women are forced to walk long distances seeking health care even at a time of Covid-19,” said Ndlovu.
“Some women even lament their struggles to reach the clinic as they fail along the way. In addition to that there are even teenage pregnancies as children fail to access contraceptives. As a community we are mainly appealing for cement to mould more bricks and window frames so that at least the building can reach the roof top level. This is a community initiative and they are constructing the clinic on their own,” she said.
Matabeleland South Provincial Medical Director Dr. Rudo Chikodzore referred the publication to the District Medical Officer, Dr Matthew Mthunzi who was unreachable.
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)