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.
In January, community volunteers were kept busy in the Baby Clinic and the Maternity Department, where 166 babies were weighed and measured, and 116 pregnant ladies had their temperature, blood pressure and weight taken to check they were in good health. The same observations were carried out on a further 48 patients elsewhere in the Clinic, prior to them being attended to by nursing staff.
Meanwhile, 972 pain relief pills were counted and packaged in the Dispensary, along with 15,720 pills to treat what is known as opportunistic infections (OIs). An OI is an infection occurring more frequently and with greater severity in people whose immune systems have been weakened by viruses such as HIV. Prescribing appropriate medication can help to protect these patients against pneumonia and bacterial infections.
Regular home visits to Gogo Machuma are continuing this year to check that she is in good health, assist with household chores, and generally spend time socialising with her. In January, Gogo received a donation of groceries. She also had a meal made for her and some chores - washing dishes, sweeping, etc - carried out.
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