CONNIE Mariko, a 37-year-old mother of two from Bomba village under Chief Njelele in Gokwe South, relives the horror she faced eight years ago when she gave birth to her first born son.
“It was like any other normal day in 2015 when I left home for Gokwe South District Hospital to deliver my first born son,” Mariko remembers.
“During that time the facilities at the hospital were very bad and, on that day, luck was not on my side as l was advised by nurses that l had labour complications.
“They told me that I could not deliver the baby the normal way.”
Mariko said tears engulfed her eyes as she was confused by the sudden turn of events.
“They said the theatre at the hospital was not functional and I was transferred to Kwekwe District Hospital, some 140km away,” she said.
“Fortunately, l had a successful birth through a caesarean section in Kwekwe.”
Mariko’s sad tale is one faced by many women who rely on Gokwe South District Hospital for maternal health services.
Gokwe South Hospital caters for more than 300 000 people from Njelele, Nemangwe and Bomba, among other villages in the district, that rely on public health facilities as they cannot afford private healthcare.
Recently, the rural folk breathed a sigh of relief after the government commissioned rehabilitated facilities such as the theatre, maternity wards, mortuary, incinerator, ambulance and a solar system to ensure uninterrupted power supply at the hospital.
Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Owen Ncube, who commissioned the new look hospital, described the development as a “milestone achievement” to the people of Gokwe where public health facilities were not functional for a long time.
“An improved and modern healthcare system which we are commissioning as we pursue health for all by 2030 is in line with the World Health Organisation universal health declaration and our own National Vision 2030,” Ncube said.
“These initiatives not only contribute towards an improved overall standard of living, but also positively impact on the health and well-being of our citizens.”
Ncube added: “The second republic gives priority to health delivery as evidenced by the support the health sector receives through budget allocations which are in line with recommendations from the African Union and other regional bodies.”
He said Gokwe South now had two hospitals and 37 clinics, adding that the government was committed to ensure the facilities were well equipped with health personnel.
Chief Njelele welcomed the commissioning of the health facilities at Gokwe South District Hospital.