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Alaska Residents Deprived Of Healthcare

A high staff turnover and critical shortage of medication at Alaska Clinic in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province has led to residents in the area failing to access medical care.

This came out during a meeting organized by the Chinhoyi Residents Trust on the issue of service delivery and social accountability in the area.

Residents bemoaned that Alaska Clinic has a total of 5 medical staff who cater for the whole area which has an estimated population of 7 000 people.

“Besides the fact that there are few nurses to attend to patients there is also a major challenge of lack of medication at our local clinic. Quite often, we are referred to private hospitals because there is no medication at the clinic. But because of the high levels of poverty in the area, very few can afford medical care,” said a resident who attended the meeting.

The residents appealed to the local council and the government to intervene in addressing the situation at Alaska Clinic.

“Most us are living in poverty and we have to rely on the council clinic because we cannot afford private medical care. The situation at Alaska clinic must be addressed as a matter of urgency because as it stands, some us cannot access medical care.

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“We are appealing to the council and central government to consider our plight. As it stands, access to health care is a preserve for those who can afford private medical care,” said one resident, Miriam Mandeya.

Chinhoyi Mayor, Garikai Dendera who also attended the meeting, acknowledged that the situation at Alaska Clinic was dire.

“We are aware of the challenges being faced at Alaska clinic and we continue to engage with the government and other stakeholders as we move to address the situation for the benefit of our residents. On the issue of the high staff turnover our major challenge has been that we are charging in the local currency and we paying our nurses in local currency as well so most of them are opting for government hospitals and other private institutions where they are getting United States Dollars incentives,” he said.

Chinhoyi Residents Trust Director, Peter Lewanda said it was necessary to create platforms for continuous engagement between residents and duty bearers.

He said CRT will engage council as well as central government on issues of service delivery.

Other issues raised during the meeting include poor infrastructure at council schools, poor ablution facilities as well as lack of clean, safe and potable water.

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