Council has started upgrading Mabvuku Polyclinic into an improved health centre that will offer more comprehensive health services to residents.
The new health facility will offer more wide-ranging services than other poly-clinics. Some of the services will include: caesarean operations; paediatrics; x-rays; laboratory facilities; and minor surgeries. The city’s Director of Health Services, Dr Prosper Chonzi, said that construction has already started, with completion anticipated in November.
“At the moment, patients are referred from clinics to central hospitals, which leads to increased pressure on the hospitals, as they also cater for patients referred from other provinces. We have now moved forward from primary health care, where we offered very basic services. We want to do more in the communities, so we have come up with this concept of enhanced polyclinics that fall between a clinic and a district hospital,” explained Dr Chonzi.
Dr Chonzi revealed that funds and theatre equipment were already in council’s possession, “We have managed to raise $600,000 from our local and international partners, and our budget is about $500,000. So we actually have more than required and we feel that project is already completed.”
Funds for the project were sourced from the city’s partners, who include: the Community Share Ownership Trust: Lafarge Cement; National Health Care Trust; Ministry of Health; Zimbabwe Health; and partners in Geneva.
The hospital will operate on a 24-hour basis and will have its own doctors. The Health Services Director shared that council has already started sending doctors to Harare Hospital for refresher courses in surgery and maternity management in preparation for duties at the new, enhanced polyclinic.
“My wish will be to have this [enhanced polyclinic] replicated in at least three other areas so that we cover the whole of Harare. The clinic in Mabvuku will cover the Eastern side, while we would also need another hospital to cover Mbare, due to its population density, as well as another in Budiriro and Kuwadzana. That way we will be able to decongest central hospitals, thereby improving the quality of health care offered,” said Dr Chonzi.
So far, there are 12 polyclinics in Harare but they are inadequate to cater for the City’s population of more than three million people. Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi, the councillor for Mbvuku’s Ward 19 where the enhanced poly-clinic is being constructed, said that the new health institution will greatly improve health facilities in Mabvuku and surrounding areas.
“We are happy with the project because it will bring critical health services nearer to the people, but there is need for council to build more clinics to cater for residents in new settlements such as Caledonia and Bobo, so that pressure is reduced on the new facility,” said Kufahakutizwi.
Another resident of Mabvuku, Ian Musarurwa was also excited, saying that the enhanced polyclinic will greatly improve health services in the area as well as reduce pressure on existing health facilities. “Most patients in the area are opting to go to central hospitals for better services because of poor services at council clinics, so we are hopeful that the new hospital will improve the situation,” said Musarurwa.