The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has donated a mobile clinic to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC), a development set to improve HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 vaccination services around the city.
The mobile clinic will provide maternal health services, HIV testing services, STIs and TB screening and treatment, cervical cancer screening, family planning services and condom distribution in areas that do not have access to health facilities.
Speaking at the handover ceremony held at the City Hall Thursday, Director of City Health Services Dr Edwin Sibanda said the mobile clinic is a relief to the council and will serve residents who stay in areas far from local clinics.
He said the availability of the mobile clinic will enable the council to bring HIV services to the people, a move that will assist in the realisation of bringing an end to new HIV infections by 2030.
“Imagine for instance a kombi driver who stays in the high-density suburbs and plies the Mahatshula-CBD route. He would leave home as early as 5 AM and return late evening, chances of him defaulting are high. But with such services, we can be able to go to them where they rank so that they may get the services they need.”
National Programs Manager for AFH, Dr Earnest Chikwati said their organisation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the council which mandated them to assist the latter in its fight against HIV/AIDS.
Dr Chikwati said the mobile clinic is part of the roadmap and the organisation will see to it that the vehicle is in perfect condition at all times, seeing to it that it is fueled, insured, serviced and should it be involved in an accident they will replace it with another.
“Last year, Dr Sibanda noted that a mobile clinic would assist in addressing challenges faced by the city especially in Cowdray Park. People therein walk long distances to get to the clinic to access crucial services such as STIs and TB screening and treatment, Family planning services, HIV testing services among others,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Cllr Mlandu Ncube commended the gesture by AHF, noting that the mobile clinic will assist towards the attainment of herd immunity.
“The donation of a fully equipped medical bus will help the city in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in the best way we can as we strive towards providing quality health services. It will greatly assist in the vaccination drive and assist in achieving herd immunity. The city aims to achieve herd immunity and we are grateful to AHF who have donated a bus that will enable us to reach all corners of the city,” said Cllr Ncube.