Mkoba Polyclinic is situated in a densely-populated suburb of Gweru in Zimbabwe, delivering essential healthcare services to a catchment area of over 47,000 people. With a staff of just 36, meeting the clinic’s obligations to every patient is a challenge. To assist, ALERT and Antelope Park provide non-specialised manpower in the form of medical volunteers to carry out administrative and observational tasks. This support allows specialised staff to concentrate on essential frontline services, such as midwifery, HIV diagnosis and treatment, and pre and post-natal attention.
Last month, medical volunteers carried out routine observations on 161 patients, taking their temperature, blood pressure and weight, before them being attended to by nursing staff. 7,074 pills were counted and packaged in the Dispensary. 319 babies were weighed and measured in the Baby Clinic and 153 mothers were assessed in the Maternity Department.
Staff and medical volunteers also carried out a home visit to a patient with Tuberculosis; a routine check-up to monitor his progress. On this particular visit, the man’s health had unfortunately deteriorated. He had stopped taking his current medication while awaiting a CT scan to assess the condition of his lungs before further medication could be prescribed. At a cost of US$ 550, he was unable to afford to have the scan, so medical volunteer, Ariana Zenteno, kindly agreed to fund it for him. The scan was carried out and the man has now been prescribed the correct medication to help with his condition.
Ariana on the home visit
Another home visit was paid to a young lady with Tuberculosis and HIV. Again, this visit was conducted to check on her condition. Thankfully, this patient was in good health and extremely pleased to see her visitors. The lady is currently not at school, as she says she is a slow learner and is afraid to attend classes for fear of being ridiculed. A suggestion was made for her to study a practical skill, such as home economics, which would help her in everyday life.
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