…Totonga clinic turns away patients
…business as usual at Birchenough clinic
Nurses at council run clinics in Gweru are operating in somewhat questionable manner as a snap survey by CommuTalk has discovered that one local clinic is turning away patients while the other is operating as usual.
The investigation was initiated to establish whether revelations from a resident’s pressure group, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA), published a letter supposing that nurses from council run clinics are complaining over incapacitation a move that would possibly affect operations in the midst of a pandemic.
“…it therefore puts us at risk as primary health care workers who are responsible of handling and screening patients at our local clinics. We therefore ask management to urgently provide us with adequate personal protective clothing…,” read part of the letter.
During an undercover visit made on April 14 2020, nurses on duty attended only two babies and turned away others seeking the same vaccination services while giving them a date one week later form the original date of immunization.
Vaccinations throughout childhood are essential because they help provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
The action has however disadvantages parents in locations outside town who need vaccination services since they barely get a transport to town and at times denied access to the city to seek the much-needed services under the current lockdown.
The survey proceeded to another council run facility in town, Birchnough clinic where business was being conducted as usual.
Of particular interest however was the fact that nurses from Totonga clinic had no protective wear while those at Birchenough clinic were well dressed in protective clothing.
City of Gweru public relations officer, Vimbai Chingwaramusee however said that nurses have not downed tools and emphasized that protective clothing is not a challenge since the local authority received funds for this from central government.
“Work is smooth at all council clinics. We have received $1,4 million from government from central government to procure protective clothing fir nurses which is being used as such,” Chingwaramusee said.
Meanwhile, the High Court yesterday (Tuesday April 4 2020) ordered the government to regularly test and screen health workers as well as provide them with personal protective equipment (PPE), a day after a doctor and a nurse became the first frontline workers to be infected with the coronavirus.
The Zimbabwe Association for Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR), which sued the ministers of health, finance and transport, obtained an order by consent at the Harare High Court