Government and Makonde Rural District Council have been urged to build a clinic for villagers from Gravelotte in Mhangura.
The villagers, who walk at least 40 kilometres to Doma Clinic, the nearest health institution, say they feel neglected and marginalised despite playing a major role in the country’s economy through farming and gold mining.
Mrs Jennifa Kaireza, a villager, said they rely mostly on medical outreach programmes that are not even regular.
“Most people who stay in this area are peasant farmers who also double as gold panners when we are not in the summer agricultural season.
“Our living conditions require a nearby health facility as farmers are prone to snake bites, whereas violence is always rife among artisanal miners,” she said.
Villagers are also said to jostle for free contraceptives given to them by the Ministry of Health and Child Care whenever outreach programmes are conducted.
“It’s so touching that whenever we visit a place for outreach programmes, villagers at some point fight for condoms or contraceptive pills as they will be hoping to get a better share for themselves since they are rarely provided to them,” a nurse at Doma Clinic, who requested anonymity, said.
She added: “The road to this area is so bad that transport operators normally shun it, thereby leaving the farmers with no option, but to walk more than 40km to this institution.”
Makonde RDC social welfare officer Mrs Ndaizivei Mwale said although the situation was dire in that area, the local authority was also failing to raise enough revenue from residents and rate payers.
“Low revenue inflows have affected the construction of a health institution by the local authority, which currently has at least five clinics across the district,” she said.