Right on the door step of our Gweru project site is the high density area of Mkoba. This is where the majority of Gweru’s population live, most of whom do not have access to private healthcare facilities and are therefore totally dependent on the under staffed and poorly resourced local clinics. These service providers are currently heavily dependent on the goodwill and support of donor agencies to service its community.
This project operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the local healthcare authority at several local clinics.
Mkoba 1 Polyclinic caters for a catchment population of almost 35,000. Services provided include: clinics for Opportunistic Infections (HIV & TB), outpatients departments for adults and children, Extended Program of Immunization for children 6 weeks – 5 years of age, family planning, antenatal and post-natal care, PMTCT - Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission for HIV affected mothers, and voluntary counselling and HIV testing. The clinic hopes to commence providing birthing service in the near future.
Mkoba 4 Polyclinic’s catchment is 47,300 people. Their maternity ward caters for all surrounding areas, and so is currently estimated to be providing birthing services for a population of over 90 000 people. The clinic records an average of 158 births per month yet only has 2 delivery beds. The Opportunistic Infections Department process about 2,500 cases of HIV/AIDS a month and the Extended Programme for Immunization Department does a minimum of 1,900 immunizations a month.
Mtapa Polyclinic is the second oldest in the city of Gweru and unfortunately its facilities reflect its age as little maintenance has been done on the clinic in the past 10 years of economic difficulty. The clinic caters for a catchment population of almost 27,000. Services provided include: clinics for Opportunistic Infections (HIV & TB), outpatients department for adults and children, Extended Program of Immunization for children 6 weeks – 5 years of age, family planning, home visits, antenatal & post-natal care, birthing, PMTCT - Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission for HIV affected mothers, and voluntary counselling and HIV testing.
Each month the clinic cares for and treats over 3600 patients, and on average assists with the birth of 89 babies. There are no resident doctors at the Clinic, which is run by nursing staff with a Nurse in Charge who oversees and manages the clinic. Should more specialized treatment and emergency services be needed, the local ambulance service is used to transport patients to the general hospital.
Due to the age and lack of maintenance, the major challenges faced by the Clinic is that there is no hygienic disposal of their clinical waste, no private delivery rooms – there is only one public room with 3 delivery beds, and the building structurally requires restoring of the roof, ceiling, walls and tiles to ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.