Understaffing at the two Chegutu municipality-run clinics is putting the workload burden on the few available nurses at the primary health centres which service the town’s estimated 120 000 residents.
The local authority’s two clinics, namely Chinengundu and Pfupajena, currently have six general nurses against the optimal requirement of 12 nurses and four midwives out of a requirement of 10.
Sister-in-charge Priscilla Ndlovu confirmed the staff shortage, adding council needed to beef up nursing and ancillary staff ahead of the envisaged commissioning of the 24-hour maternity wing at Chinengundu Clinic.
“Our staff complement is heavily depleted and overworked. Therefore we urgently need to recruit more nurses, nurse aides and general hands, especially in light of the impending opening of the maternity wing at Chinengundu,” said Ndlovu.
The maternity ward to be housed at the British Embassy-funded structure, needed refurbishment and installation of equipment such as the autoclave machine and an incinerator before it became fully operational. The maternity wing was set for opening in May, officials said.
Ndlovu disclosed the Chinengundu Clinic handled an average of 80 expectant mothers monthly and offers HIV and TB diagnostic and drug dispensing services, among other functions.
She said this had resulted in nurses being overwhelmed by the workload.