Major upgrade for council clinics

The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
A MAJOR infrastructure upgrade of Bulawayo City Council (BCC) clinics is underway and involves improving water supplies to the health facilities as well as medicines and other consumables.

The clinics have also been painted and perimeter walls have been erected to improve security.

Nkulumane, Pelandaba, Nketa and Tshabalala are some of the clinics that have been upgraded,  thanks to a partnership between Government and the World Bank.

Sister Sithabiso Dintoe of Tshabalala Clinic shows a stove and a washing machine which were acquired using funding from Cordaid International Funding Institution

Under the programme, pregnant women buy a voucher at a cost of ZW$20 which they use to access services.

Every time they visit a council clinic under the programme, the World Bank’s implementing partner Cordaid pays the health institution for services rendered in foreign currency under its Results Based Financing (RBF) programme.

The clinic keeps the forex that is then used to improve its facilities and buy medicines.

A small percentage of the foreign currency is paid to health workers at the respective clinics.

Plans are underway to extend the project to the remaining council clinics.

There is a world of difference between the upgraded clinics and those where the project is yet to be implemented.
A Chronicle news crew yesterday visited some of the upgraded clinics.

Nkulumane Clinic and Tshabalala Clinic have been refurbished and they have washing machines, stoves and other such facilities.

The buildings were recently painted and the entire environment has been spruced up.

The water supply infrastructure has been upgraded to guarantee constant supplies.

At Nkulumane Clinic they have erected a pallet fencing and constructed a patients waiting shed while at Tshabalala Clinic they have installed jojo tanks to improve water supplies.

Tshabalala Clinic was yesterday taking delivery of bricks to construct a perimeter wall.

The clinic’s acting Sister-in-Charge Sithabiso Dintoe said the clinic is now able to buy medication needed by expecting mothers and newly born babies as a result of funds they receive under the programme.

“Through the RBF we have managed to paint the clinic, tiled floors for most of the rooms, bought a washing machine, a stove and a microwave used by the staff.

The clinic also bought two 5 000 litre Jojo tanks to guarantee water supplies even during water shedding,” said Sr Dintoe.

Water tanks at Tshabalala Clinic whose installation was funded by Cordaid International Funding Institution

She said the programme has seen more pregnant women coming to seek health services.

“This RBF programme enables pregnant women to access health services almost for free.

“Even those who need operation, it is done almost freely.

The mother receives free treatment from six weeks of pregnancy and six months after giving birth.

The child will also be attended to for almost free during the six months,” she said.

Sister Dintoe said in the past clinics used to refer all those who had complications to Mpilo Central Hospital but now some are being sent to United Bulawayo Hospitals.

Bulawayo Health Service director Dr Edwin Sibanda said more clinics will benefit from the RBF programme.

He said as more pregnant women register for health services under RBF, health facilities are transformed as institutions are paid for attending to them.

“If you visit places like Nkulumane Clinic, you will notice a great improvement as a result of RBF.

They have erected a security wall, painted the buildings, put burglar bars and repaired all window panes.

Residents are involved in this programme as they assist in deciding the priority projects to be funded,” said Dr Sibanda.

He said health workers are also being incentivised under the programme.

The clinics have also managed to buy new linen for expecting mothers.

– @nqotshili

Article Source: The Chronicle

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