Senior Health Reporter
Bangure Clinic in Buhera district has received over US$27 000 in the last seven years to rehabilitate its facilities under a results-based financing programme.
The programme, funded by Crown Agents, is supported by the Health Development Fund covering 830 rural facilities across the country.
Since 2013, the programme has provided funding for the construction of a comfortable mothers’ shelter, repair of two nurses’ houses, installation of a water pump and a solar lighting system at Bangure Clinic.
Primary care nurse at the clinic, Sister Farirai Masendu, said the programme had contributed to a change in the community’s approach to development of the health care system.
“Using the funds, we have managed to develop the clinic working with the community, who play a major role in this programme. The programme cannot work without the input from the community and over the years, they have come to the party and made it successful. We started with the rehabilitation of a staff house which was dilapidated, and then we drilled a solar powered borehole to provide clean water to the clinic,” she said.
A new solar lighting system was also installed after the rehabilitation of the solar panels that had been dysfunctional for years.
As a result of the extra energy source, staff are now considering adding more storage facilities for medicines and vaccines.
Sister Masendu said the lighting system complemented the revamped maternity ward and the new mother’s shelter that was constructed under the programme.
Due to the long distances villagers in most rural areas have to walk to access health care, home deliveries are common in some areas resulting in many women dying during childbirth. The shelter has since provided relief for the women who can now come in early and stay at the clinic until they give birth.
“The mothers’ shelter was a 2017 project which we have since completed to accommodate six mothers. The mothers have a room to rest where they can relax and get entertainment as they wait for their delivery date.
“We now have less home deliveries as the mothers now have a place to stay and this is a positive thing as it means less women die in childbirth,” she said.
Mrs Colletta Mukazviona, an expecting mother from Pedzisayi village in Buhera, said the new mothers’ shelter would encourage more women to come into the clinic and reduce the numbers of women who opt for home births.
“We walk a long distance from Pedzisayi to the clinic so in the past many women would not make it in time because they could not come to the clinic before their due date.
“The new shelter is very comfortable and we can relax and forget the problems we have back at home,” she said.
Buhera Rural District Council chairperson, Mr Ngoni Musakaruka, said: “The clinic has managed to use the fund to implement developmental projects to improve service delivery to the community.
“The mothers’ shelter, water piping and solar lighting systems are the most notable projects we have done and we are happy that we have changed the health delivery system in this community.”