Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
VILLAGERS in Gwambe, Bulilima District in Matabeleland South Province, have pooled resources to build a clinic that will help reduce long distances travelled by healthcare seekers.
Most villagers are travelling more than 30km to the nearest clinic.
Councillor for the area Melusi Nkomo said health care delivery will be greatly enhanced once the clinic is completed.
“We are at roofing level for the main structure and we have managed to buy roofing sheets. We are only left with roofing beams. The clinic is a brain child of the community in Gwambe who were fed up with walking long distances to the two other clinics. We started the project in 2013 and we hope to finish it this year,” he said.
Cllr Nkomo said Sikhathini and Ndiweni clinics that were serving the area were too far, which was compromising the health of the people.
“Some villagers have to walk more than 30km to access these clinics. Imagine an old person having to walk that distance or when we have an emergency. That is what motivated us. We were paying 500 rand per homestead but some were struggling.
“Our children based in the diaspora came to our aid big time as they have mobilised themselves and taken us to where we are now. We have also received help from the Constituency Development Fund from our member of Parliament Cde Mangaliso Nqobizitha Ndlovu but we would appreciate any form of help we may get to augment what we have received,” he said.
Cllr Nkomo said Covid-19 has affected them as they were forced to stop construction work for a long time during lockdowns restrictions which might also affect their target to finish the project this year.
He said the other wing for the clinic is also approaching roofing level while five toilets have been constructed.
“From there we will have to construct three cottages for the accommodation facilities for the nurses. We are making good progress and once we mobilise the resources all the outstanding works can be done before the year end so that we start accessing health care in our vicinity,” he said.
Cllr Nkomo said a borehole is already on standby, waiting to be equipped as they want the clinic to use Solar energy.
“Electricity can be connected to the clinic as it is near Gwambe Primary school but we are planning on using solar which is more reliant and cheaper.
We will run a nutrition garden as well at the clinic to support the staff, patients and the community. The clinic will offer various services which include maternity, baby clinic and all general medical services offered at clinics,” he said.
Bulilima district which also has a high HIV burden does not have its own district Hospital and is using Plumtree District Hospital which also serves Mangwe District and Plumtree [email protected]