City of Harare has taken over the running of Rugare Clinic from the ailing National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). The clinic has been lying idle after it was closed more than a decade ago when the railway company fell into financial ruin.
Councillor for Ward 13(Southerton, Rugare, Locinvar, Lytton, and Heavy Industry) Peter Moyo told Harare News that council and NRZ have now agreed on re-opening the clinic in a deal that will see council providing medical personnel and pharmaceuticals to the clinic.
“I have been negotiating for the handover of the clinic to council since 2008 and I am happy that we finally reached a verbal agreement in December. We then received an approval letter from NRZ last month paving way for the operationalisation of the medical facility,” said a delighted Moyo.
Moyo added that according to the agreement with NRZ, council will carry out the necessary renovations at the clinic which is expected to cater for the parastatal’s workers as well as the general community.
“This clinic will go a long way in helping the community in my ward as they have been forced to rely on Harare Hospital and Kambuzuma clinic for medical needs. Right now council’s health department is on the ground carrying out all the necessary work and we expect the clinic to open its doors anytime soon,” added Moyo.
Residents of Rugare are excited with the re-opening of the clinic. Musa Chadenga (47) who lives in Rugare said the clinic will go a long way in helping community members who need medical attention.
“It is good that council has moved in to re-open the clinic because it used to help us a lot. At the moment residents in Rugare and surrounding areas are being forced to travel long distances to access health services,” said Chadenga.
Harare has been experiencing challenges in providing health care at community level and council has been working to address this through the construction of new clinics and extension of existing ones. Council has so far managed to expand Sunningdale Clinic’s maternity wing as well as expanding Mabvuku Polyclinic into a district hospital.
Another resident Sitshengiwe Bhamu (34) said that residents of Rugare expect council to be able to offer basic health care at the clinic reducing pressure on Harare Hospital.
“People were being forced to go to Harare Hospital for basic health care which was leading to congestion at the health facility. We expect the clinic to offer basic health care so that only those with major complications can be attended to at the referral hospital,” said Bhamu.
Currently there are 12 poly-clinics in Harare, but these have been deemed inadequate to cater for the City’s population of around three million people, most of whom cannot afford the luxury of private health care.