Year 2016 has been a milestone for Sigangatsha community in Matobo Ward 6, amid revelations Matobo Rural District Council finally pegged a stand for the long-awaited community clinic.
The idea of a clinic was first proposed over three decades ago and almost every year, it has been a priority in the Ward development plan but nothing was being done.
The clinic was however pegged two weeks ago after the Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Team in the area lobbied the local authority to act on the issue to enable the community to start the building process.
“The proposal for a clinic has been there for years, it was one of our priorities in almost every Ward plan and the council has finally agreed,” said village head, Mr. Edward Ndlovu. “They inspected our proposed clinic site in March and beginning of April they pegged the stand.”
Headmen Sigangatsha born Herman Ncube said they were yet to call a Ward meeting and inform the community about the new development.
“We are yet to call a Ward meeting to tell the community about the pegged clinic site. The Action Team should take the lead in its building process. One thing I appreciate about this team is that they make follow ups on issues.They are the ones who have been lobbying the Councilor to push the clinic issue with the Council.”
Access to healthcare, is one of the issues the Action Team is advocating on.
Action Team secretary Mrs Mary Mhlanga said the long distances that patients walk to the nearest clinic was one of the reasons why they decided to push for one in the area. She said community members walk at least 21km to St Joseph, Mambale or Tshelanyemba clinics in the neighboring Wards, perpetuating an increase in home deliveries, high risk of maternal mortality, patients defaulting, and some dying in their homes.
“Some of these incidences can be avoided if there is a clinic in the Ward,” said Mhlanga. “People with cars usually charge us R300 or 20litres for fuel to take us to the clinics and most villagers can’t afford that. We have waited for too long to have a clinic in this Ward. As an Action Team we will mobilize the community to actively participating in the actual construction.”
The Action Team has already collected the Plan for the structure from the RDC and seen the standard of the building materials they have to use.