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.
Medical volunteers have continued to make their presence felt in the Baby Clinic, attending to 367 babies by taking weights and measurements and recording this information on clinic cards. 420 mothers-to-be were assessed in the Maternity Department and the weights and measurements were taken for five new-born babies. 64,248 pills were counted and packaged in the Dispensary, and routine observations were carried out on 313 patients to check their temperature, blood pressure, and weight.
From the end of September through to the beginning of this month, a mass drug administration was conducted by the Clinic, targeting children aged from one to 15 years old. The two different types of drugs administered - Albendazole and Praziquantel - were both to prevent worms. In all, almost 2,900 children were treated as part of this initiative.
Staff and medical volunteers have also continued to carry out home visits to elderly members of the community. Phineas looks after his five grandchildren. Volunteers purchased groceries for him to resell as an income-generating project to help improve the family’s standard of living. Gogo Chisara takes care of her four grandchildren. To enable her to generate her own income, volunteers purchased a sewing machine. Being able to offer this kind of support is essential to encourage self-sustainability.
80-year-old Gogo Machuma lives alone and is visited regularly to make her feel cared for. She usually receives groceries and has a meal cooked for her but, during the most recent visit, she was also given cutlery and a warm blanket.
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