BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
FEMALE councillors in Kadoma have raised alarm over the poor state of Rimuka Maternity Home which has been falling apart over the years and have resolved to wear black outfits until the situation has improved.
The maternity home serves a greater part of the sprawling town, but it is now derelict and unfit for expecting mothers as its precast walls and fence have collapsed making it unsafe.
There is also uncollected rubbish scattered all over the area.
Deputy mayor, Tendai Kokera, who is also ward six councillor said as female councillors, they decided to wear black to bring attention to the sad state of affairs at the council-run clinic.
“As women we are not happy about the state of the maternity home. Since 2018 the clinic has continued to deteriorate below acceptable standards. This cannot go on under our watch,” Kokera said.
She said female councillors had an obligation to represent women and ensure they received health services in a dignified environment.
“There is one block that collapsed despite numerous pleas it has not been re-erected. The buildings are such an eye sore and the lack of a precast wall leaves the women exposed and in danger of being raided by thieves,” she said.
Kokera said the maternity home was not able to handle huge numbers.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic most cases were now being handled at the clinic and not at the Kadoma General Hospital, to make room for COVID-19 patients.
“Women now scramble to be served and are waking up around 3am to secure a booking. This exposes them because this area is infamous for machete-wielding gold panners and we are making these women move during unsafe hours.”
She said some even spent the night at the gate so that they could get a better chance of being booked.
A health report that was shared last year in September revealed that on a daily basis 10 to 15 births were being recorded, while a similar number waited to be served. This is despite the fact that the clinic has no capacity for such numbers.
Due to the overwhelming number of patients, the staff at the maternity home is reportedly overworked and stressed and struggling to cope.
“When we went for a tour we found only two junior male nurses. That is unacceptable considering the number of women who seek services at the clinic,” Kokera said. The clinic has also not been carrying out the usual scaling of babies, which is critical in monitoring their growth and for picking up any health issues that might need attention and redress”, Kokera said.
“It is because of all these issues that as women in positions of power and influence we have stood up to say enough is enough. We will wear black which is synonymous with mourning or an expression of pain until the issues raised have been addressed.”