Whunga villagers in Matabeleland South are walking long distances to access a health centre and are now calling on the government to set up more health centres in their areas.
BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
It has emerged that the only health facility, Zezani, is more than 30km away and villagers in Whunga and its surrounding areas are walking that distance to get medical assistance.
The situation is most dire for mothers with babies who have to constantly go for the prescribed immunisations and monitoring of the children’s growth as set out by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
Villagers from Madali village which is adjacent to Whunga are also in the same situation and are walking the same distance to Zezani health centre which has been overwhelmed by the large number of people requiring assistance.
The villagers are now calling on the government to urgently construct another centre which is within reasonable walking distance.
A local councillor, Gladys Tlou said villagers from Whunga, Malikuwa, Dendele and Madali were walking long distances to receive medical attention at Zezani which also caters for Tshamngana, Mpande and Mtangatshena areas.
She however said plans were underway to construct a clinic at Whunga to ease the burden on local villagers of having to travel the long distances.
Beitbridge Rural District Council is working on a proposal to build the clinic under a five-year strategic plan but the only hitch is lack of funds.
The same proposal was mooted 12 years ago but neither donors nor the government have been forthcoming in committing to build the clinic.
The situation is compounded by the fact that the roads leading to Zezani are in a deplorable state and several transporters have withdrawn their services leaving the villagers with no option but to walk.