To assist the staff of these busy clinics to provide the best possible healthcare to their communities.
Right on the door step of our Gweru project site at Antelope Park is the high density area of Mkoba. This is where the majority of Gweru’s population live, most of whom do not have access to private healthcare facilities and are therefore totally dependent on the under staffed and poorly resourced local clinics. These service providers are currently heavily dependent on the goodwill and support of donor agencies to service its community.
ALERT through our ACT division provide both manpower and material support to these clinics. Personnel are provided to assist the qualified clinic staff in many of the routine tasks, freeing them to concentrate on frontline healthcare. This project operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the local healthcare authority.
Mkoba 1 Polyclinic caters for a catchment population of almost 35,000. Services provided include: clinics for Opportunistic Infections (HIV & TB), outpatients departments for adults and children, Extended Program of Immunization for children 6 weeks – 5 years of age, family planning, antenatal & post natal care, PMTCT - Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission for HIV affected mothers, and voluntary counselling and HIV testing. The clinic hopes to commence providing birthing service in the near future.
In 2012, Mkoba 4 Polyclinic’s catchment was 47,301 people. Their maternity ward caters for all surrounding areas, and so is currently estimated to be providing birthing services for a population of over 90 000 people. The clinic records an average of 158 births per month yet only has 2 delivery beds. The Opportunistic Infections Department process about 2,500 cases of HIV/AIDS a month and the Extended Programme for Immunization Department does a minimum of 1,900 immunizations a month.
Mtapa Polyclinic is the second oldest in the city of Gweru and unfortunately its facilities reflect its age as little maintenance has been done on the clinic in the past 10 years of economic difficulty. The clinic caters for a catchment population of almost 27,000 and together with Mkoba 4 and Senga Polyclinics are the only 3 out of 8 clinics that offer maternity birthing services.
Services provided include: clinics for Opportunistic Infections (HIV & TB), outpatients department for adults and children, Extended Program of Immunization for children 6 weeks – 5 years of age, family planning, home visits, antenatal & post natal care, birthing, PMTCT - Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission for HIV affected mothers, and voluntary counselling and HIV testing.
Each month the clinic cares for and treats over 3600 patients, and on average assists with the birth of 89 babies. There are no resident doctors at the Clinic, which is run by nursing staff with a Nurse in Charge who oversees and manages the clinic. Should more specialized treatment and emergency services be needed, the local ambulance service is used to transport patients to the general hospital.
Due to the age and lack of maintenance, the major challenges faced by the Clinic is that there is no hygienic disposal of their clinical waste, no private delivery rooms – there is only one public room with 3 delivery beds, and the building structurally requires restoring of the roof, ceiling, walls and tiles to ensure the safety and well being of their patients.
Senga Polyclinic caters for a population of 14,084 based on the 2012 census. Services provided include: clinics for Opportunistic Infections (HIV & TB), outpatients department for adults and children, Extended Program of Immunization for children 6 weeks – 5 years of age, family planning, home visits, antenatal & post natal care, birthing, PMTCT- Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission for HIV affected mothers, and voluntary counselling and HIV testing.
The PMTCT department provides services to pregnant woman and including HIV testing and counselling. The department also provides HIV pregnant woman with ARVs prophylaxis or HIV management. Babies born to mothers who are HIV are also tested in this department.
The clinic faces a number of challenges including, a lack of toilet facilities, the building itself is in need of urgent repair with paint peeling off the walls and the floor tiles coming away. The clinic lacks even the most basic of medical equipment (e.g. wheelchairs, sterilization equipment or even a trolley) and has no incinerator to safely dispose of medical waste.
2010: A volunteer program was launched to attract individuals from around the world to come to Mkoba 4 Polyclinic for extended periods to support the staff in their duties. Assisted with Zimbabwe’s National Immunisation against Measles program.
2011: The volunteer program was extended to include Mtapa Polyclinic. New bedding provided to Mkboa 4 Polyclinic’s wards, and the broken tiles on the floor were fixed.
2012: The volunteer program was extended to include Mkoba 1 and Senga Polyclinics. Medical consumables were also donated to these clinics. Involved with the National Deworming program rolled out to all schools, as well as taking part in a breastfeeding promotion day. Donation made to Mkboa 4 Polyclinic of a baby foetal monitor, roof repairs, plumbing, window panes, medical consumables & stationery. Donation made to Mtapa Polyclinic of a baby heart rate monitor, medical consumables, blood pressure machines, stationery, bathroom scales, and painting of the clinic.
2013: Assisted with the first HIV/ART (antiretroviral therapy) review day at Mkoba 1 Polyclinic, which has been created specifically for children aged 14 years and below. Previously, children and adults were reviewed together, but by separating the reviews the clinic is able to provide more accurate numbers of children and adults on ART. This in turn helps to establish appropriate support groups for these children. Around 130 children attended the clinic for the review day, where they received health talks on HIV and ART, as well as counselling sessions. Additionally we assisted with the National Deworming and Bilharzia program.