BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
Despite being officially opened by the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation two years ago amid pomp and fanfare, Chiredzi Polyclinic still remains underutilised.
There is also a critical shortage of staff, which hinders it from offering 24-hour service.
The Chiredzi Town Council-run polyclinic needs a few touch-ups to make it fully functional and decongest Chiredzi General Hospital.
This was revealed during a virtual meeting organised by United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) recently.
Currently, Chiredzi Polyclinic is only offering a few services such as maternity booking, eye check-ups and cancer screening.
Upgrading of Chiredzi Polyclinic will help ease the disproportionate doctor-to-patient ratio.
Chiredzi district medical officer Brian Dhlandhlara said there was need to pool resources to upgrade the clinic so that it becomes fully functional as a referral clinic.
“The upgrading of Chiredzi Polyclinic needs the engagement of all stakeholders. That is why we have so far engaged Angel of Hope Foundation, Chiredzi Town Council and the business community within Chiredzi district,” he said.
“Currently, there are 10 nurses only at the clinic and an additional 10 nurses are needed. At the moment, we will make sure that seven will be made
Dhlandhlara added that since the kitchen at the clinic was not yet functional, food would be brought from Chiredzi General Hospital kitchen until it becomes functional.
He said for the clinic to operate at full capacity, there was need for a staff complement of 20 nurses, 10 nurse aids and five general hands.
Council vice-chairperson Ropafadzo Makumire, who is also ward 3 councillor, said the local authority would channel part of the devolution funds towards the upgrading of the clinic.
“Council had initially engaged Tongaat Hulett regarding the upgrading of the clinic, but everything was derailed following the outbreak of the ravaging COVID-19,” he said.
UCHIRRA advocacy officer Constance Chikumbo said the association would take it upon itself to identify other stakeholders.
In 2019, United Kingdom-based losing MDC Alliance candidated for Chiredzi West, John Manganye, donated a state-of-the-art ambulance and several hospital equipment, including electric beds.
However, his donations was rejected allegedly at the instigation of Chiredzi MP Farai Musikavanhu (Zanu PF).