HomeLocal NewsChildbirth — a nightmare in rural areas

Childbirth — a nightmare in rural areas

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MUTASA — Beauty Zinhawa (30) relived the day she gave birth to her four-year-old daughter in a dark clinic where the staff used candles to light up the room at Mwoyoweshumba Clinic, Mutasa.

She also recalls how she was accompanied by her two aunts and a sister-in-law to the remote clinic with the primary objective of fetching water two kilometers away from the clinic in the dead of night.

The water was going to be used in the delivery process.

Despite walking the tiresome long distance to the poor and depleted clinic, Zinhawa’s family remained optimistic everything would go well when she gave birth to her first child.

Zinhawa’s story is shared by many rural women who have implored the government, through the Ministry of Health and their local representatives, to work towards improving medical facilities in rural areas.

Speaking at the commissioning of the electrified Mwoyoweshumba Clinic in Mutasa Central recently, Headman Martin Mwoyoweshumba said his wish was to see an improvement in all health centres in his area.

“An area without proper clinics and schools is cursed. How could the whole community rely on a depleted clinic which is expected to serve more than 3 000 people?

“I believe it is difficult to use candles and smoking lamps to light up the clinic. There are no water sources here and people have to walk for a distance of about 2km to the nearest water source.

Most of our children were born in those conditions and I feel it’s unfair for the medical staff as well to work under such conditions, especially when working in a very expectant community like ours,” said Mwoyoweshumba.

He, however, said he was happy with the refurbishment of the clinic and the electrification process. He further challenged the government to continue considering the state of rural clinics whenever disbursing development funds.

Speaking at the same function, the nurse-in-charge at the clinic James Chiengerere said he had served the clinic for quite a long time and had seen many other colleagues coming and going as they failed to adapt to the working conditions.

He urged the government to continue improving working conditions in rural clinics since they serve a lot of people who do not have the option of privately-owned hospitals or pharmacies.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this improvement of our clinic. It was really hard to work without electricity.

“Some equipment requires electricity and it will lie idle without power. It means our standards will not be up to date.

“I would like to think that several colleagues in the health sector would like to urge the government to address issue of infrastructure in rural clinics. Now that we have electricity we wish we could be assisted with water,” said Chiengerere.

The money used to refurbish the clinic is from the government through the Constituency Development Fund. The parliamentary representative for Mutasa Central Trevor Saruwaka said he was focusing on improving rural clinics.

“Most rural clinics are depleted. We have an obligation as representatives of rural constituencies in Parliament to make the government help us in uplifting these health centres.

The biggest challenge we face is lack of funds, but I would like to believe some diamond proceeds will soon be channelled towards this cause,” said the MP.

He expressed regret that most women are giving birth in undesirable conditions which makes them prone to complications.

Saruwaka said women empowerment starts with appreciating the need to improve health institutions because they are key in development.

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare recently said it was determined to improve the infrastructure in many clinics around the country.

The Minister of Health and Child Welfare Henry Madzorera has received the thumpbs-up for the work he is doing in improving the health sector in Zimbabwe which was grounded since the late ’90s.

His biggest challenges are making drugs and other essential drugs available all the time in rural clinics.

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