Umzingwane ward 9 villagers walk 16km to clinics

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By NKOSENTSHA KHUMALO
UMZINGWANE villagers in Matabeleland South province have called on government to construct a clinic in their area, lamenting that they have to walk eight to 16km to access health services.

They said the only clinics close to their ward were in ward 10 and 15 which are eight to 16km away.

The most affected villagers are in ward 9, who travel 16km to access services at Mhlahlandlela Clinic which is in ward 10.

Ward 9 councillor Bekezela Moyo said other villagers travel to Matobo Mission Clinic in ward 15.

“Pregnant women have suffered miscarriages and died on their way to clinics which are very far from ward 9. Some who got injured bled to death.”

Moyo said the villagers also faced poor road network and mobile network challenges.

A villager in Sotshe, Martin Iden Sibanda said they travel across mountains to reach Mhlahlandlela Clinic, which is in ward 10.

“We have to walk for about 8km to the clinic and 8km back. If it’s a critical condition, the patient might even die.  Some pregnant mothers have to go and stay at the clinic to avoid suffering miscarriages due to the long distances they have to travel.”

A social welfare co-ordinator for ward 9 who refused to be named told Southern Eye that some mothers fail to take their children to the clinic for immunisation due to the long distance they have to travel.

“Scotch carts are the only mode of transport for villagers,” he
said.

Efforts to get a comment from Matabeleland South provincial medical director Ruth Chikodzore were fruitless yesterday as she was not picking calls.

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