Villagers in Umzingwane District have expressed concern over poor health service delivery at local clinics highlighting a series of difficulties that hundreds of patients in Umzingwane District have been experiencing during the COVID-19 period.
Women who spoke to this publication said this is just a tip of the iceberg as worse situations have occurred that impact significantly on the lives of women.
Khulekani Ndlovu said women are most affected as they constantly need maternal health services. She said the clinic has adopted a ‘wicked’ system whereby women are told to come in groups of 15 in order to obtain services.
“Women are now told to come in groups of 15 so that they can access the services they require. This is so inconveniencing because one cannot go around looking for 14 other women so that they can go together to the clinic to get checked,” she said
“There are sad incidents that have been happening recently where women suffer to access health services. Women have to stand for a very long time by the gate of the clinic as nurses still fear COVID-19. This has a huge impact on pregnant women as well. Women this side are suffering because they have nowhere else to go,” she said.
Sikhululiwe Khumalo from the same ward shared her concern over inefficient service delivery narrating how a woman gave birth by the gate of one of the Clinics.
“Three days ago, I accompanied a woman who was in labor. We called the sister in charge because we could see her inside the clinic but she did not respond to us. The woman ended up giving birth at the gate because no one could attend to her,” she said.
Khumalo added: “We are now confused as to what is causing this. It might be attributed to the fear of the coronavirus but this is heavily affecting women. We sometimes come to the clinic and we stay for hours waiting for the nurses to attend to us.”
Women who spoke to Infocusnews said they were experiencing hardships in accessing family planning services too and pleaded for improvement in service delivery.
“As women, we are in dire need of family planning services. It is now very hard for us to get these because of the restrictions that have been imposed on us. This issue puts the lives of citizens at risk and something needs to be done,” said Khumalo.
The effects of COVID 19 have worsened the health delivery system in Zimbabwe as evidenced by how women have been failing to access basic health care. Women in rural areas have been more affected and this has resulted in the loss of lives.
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