Lubimbi Clinic staff houses falling apart

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FILE: A member of the medical staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) arrives in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for the COVID-19 cases, in the San Filippo Neri Hospital in Rome, on 29 October 2020. Picture: AFP

BY IRENE MOYO/PRESTIGE MUNTANGA
BINGA villagers have expressed concern that medical staff and teachers were shunning their area due to shortage of infrastructure.

Villagers told Southern Eye that schools like Muchesu, Kairiyangwe and Chibuya had inadequate classrooms, while staff houses at Lubimbi Clinic were in a poor state.

Binga villagers said teachers were shunning the area due to poor infrastructure and lack of accommodation facilities.

“It is sad to witness an environment where our children have to learn under trees during the rains. This problem started years ago and we had hoped that our children would learn in better environments than we did. Schools are opening next week and it’s so stressful to think that our children will have to learn under trees,” Primrose Siamuleya, a villager said.

Another villager, David Mudenda, said classes had 35 students each, yet there were only two classroom blocks at some schools in Binga.

“We appeal to government to assist by improving education infrastructure in Binga,” Mudenda said.

Matabeleland North provincial education director Jabulani Mpofu said Binga was not the only area facing a shortage of classrooms.

Mpofu said his department had since requested tents to be used as classrooms during the rainy season.

“I haven’t received any report about the issue, but infrastructural development also involves parents, and that is why we have a school development committee. In the meantime, we have requested 80 tents to assist schools in Matabeleland North province,” he said.

“We are not sure whether we are going to get the tents on time. Since it is the rainy season we will visit the affected schools and see how they can be assisted in the form of tents.”

Mpofu said areas like Bulawayo had some students learning under trees due to a shortage of classrooms.

“Schools are enrolling too many children. We need to request tents to maintain social distancing.”

Meanwhile, health workers at Lubimbi Clinic said the infrastructure at the institution was dilapidated, thus endangering their lives.

Villagers told Southern Eye that nurses’ accommodation at the clinic was in a sorry state.

Daina Nyathi, a Lubimbi villager, said they feared that if the nurses continued living in such hazardous environments, they might relocate.

Another villager, Precious Tshuma, said: “The old clinic infrastructure in Binga was constructed during the colonial era. We are on the verge of losing our only clinic.”

Matabeleland North provincial medical director Admire Kuretu said he had not received any report from the rural district council (RDC) in relation to the dilapidation of Lubimbi Clinic.

“Binga Rural District Council is in a position to shed more light on the issue. We normally push them to act when we get such reports,” he said. Efforts to get a comment from Binga RDC chief executive Joshua Muzamba were fruitless.

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