Shale clinic in Umzingwane district, Matabeleland South is set to be commissioned soon, a move which will see women accessing primary health care services closer to them.
The clinic was built through the community’s effort with the assistance of Habakuk Trust, devolution funding, and the constituency development fund.
The clinic opened in February last year but was forced to shut down after nurses complained of being raped by suspected goblins.
Currently, the clinic has one block, a staff house, and toilets. The construction of a waiting mothers’ shelter is underway.
In an interview with CITE, ward 8 Councilor Alice Dube revealed that the health facility is awaiting commissioning.
“This clinic has been put on the budget since 2008 until 2014 thus when I took over and went with the papers to the council. We used to walk long distances to the nearest clinics in surrounding areas of more than 20 km, imagine if a pregnant woman walks that distance to and from. When I was elected as a woman councillor, I wanted to resolve that situation,” said Cllr Dube.
She said women were forced to walk long distances to the nearest clinics.
“When going to Sbovu clinic, women had to travel as a group, so it’s not every day where you will find people to accompany you. When I was elected this is the first priority project that I wanted to focus on, followed by the community Hall, Science Lab at school, bridge, and the dam, of which some of the projects are all already done while others are awaiting completion,” she said.
Dube said at first, the community members used to contribute US$5 each towards the construction of the clinic.
“At first the community used to put some money towards the construction and they paid US$5 to buy cement. Other Non-Governmental Organizations such as Habakkuk Trust taught us about sustainability and that we should do projects as a community. Together with the action team led by Habakkuk Trust, we started lobbying the Council since the clinic project was not in their budget for that particular year.
“The Council started assisting us, together with the CDF funds, we ended up having ‘amalima’ as a community we could provide food while the council provided builders to just come and work, we never paid any money,” she said.
She added, “The devolution funds also assisted us with roofing material, drilling water, and many other items.”
Dube said currently, there is a nurse aide and a general hand at the clinic.
“Since it was not officially commissioned, we had asked for permission to allow people to be getting treated here since people still had a burden to travel long-distance going to the clinic. They provided us with one nurse but due to other issues she had to leave, the second nurse also came and left.”
The Councilor also added that they are looking forward to the commissioning of the clinic as it will help the villagers to get their covid-19 vaccination without having to travel far.