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Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Villagers in Chabili area under Beitbridge East Constituency have appealed to Beitbridge Rural District Council to expedite the process leading to the opening of a new clinic in the area which is set to benefit over 6 000 people in Ward 2.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) sponsored the construction of the clinic while the Zimbabwe National Army provided labour.
In separate interviews at the weekend, villagers from the malaria-infested area said civil works were completed a few months ago but council was taking long to operationalise the healthcare facility.
They are travelling for more than 20km to access the nearest health institution.
According to the World Health Organisation standards, people must not walk for more than 8km to access primary health facilities.
“As a community we played our part in providing labour and all the necessary support towards the construction of this clinic. Civil works started in 2014.
‘‘Everything is now in place and we are told the clinic cannot operate because there is no incinerator.
“Our appeal to authorities is that they operationalise this clinic. Our situation is deplorable considering that we already have acute transport shortages in this area. Our nearest clinics are either 17km or 3km from here,” Ms Betty Nguluvhe.
Another villager, Mrs Tendani Chimange said women were the hardest hit by the shortage of health facilities in the area, especially expecting mothers.
She said the expecting mothers have to camp at other clinics or Beitbridge referral hospital to access neo-natal services.
“We have a serious problem here and we are appealing to the local council to attend to the issue as a matter of urgency.
“We are willing to help them with anything to get things moving,” said Mrs Kethiwe Ngwenya.
Beitbridge East legislator Cde Albert Nguluvhe said he had also received a report about the state of affairs at Chabili and he would engage council over the issue.
Beitbridge Rural District Council chief executive Mr Peter Moyo said they were working on final logistical and technical issues to operationalise the clinic.
“We have completed a nurses’ house, fencing, main structure, water connections and storage facilities.
What is only outstanding is an incinerator and we hope to open doors for service in the next two months,” said Mr Moyo.
Beitbridge District has 18 clinics and a referral hospital and several private clinics (mostly in town).