Hurungwe farm clinic closed after health staff threatened

By Nhau  Mangirazi

Hurungwe Rural District Council (HDRC) has since roped in traditional leaders and policymakers to help over conflict management following the closure of Lanlory clinic where staff was threatened with death by some villagers early in April.

Hurungwe district medical officer doctor Frackson Masiye said he was not the right person to comment on the matter.

He said, ‘‘May you please seek comment from Hurungwe rural district council as they supervise the clinic in question,’’ 

HRDC chief executive officer Luke Karivhina confirmed that they are acting to protect health professionals at the clinic.

‘‘I can confirm the unfortunate incident where community members harassed healthcare professionals. As council, we made a formal report to the police and the law will take its course. We are also working with Ministry of health and child care to deploy new staff members following conflict with the community and some staff members at the clinic. The previous team has been transferred for their safety and security,’’ said Karivhina in a telephone interview.

The clinic is situated about 35 kilometers west of Karoi town. It is in ward 18 under councilor Charles Chidhakwa.

It has a catchment of 10 000 people and was established in 2004.

There are 24 clinics under HRDC.

Villagers led by one Dick Mupanedengu threatened staff members with death and this forced them to flee while the clinic was closed.

According to the handful of community members led by Mupanedengu, a nurse identified as Sister Maria Deredza was ‘ill-treating’ them when they sought medical services.

This forced the health staff to flee while patients including pregnant women were transferred to Hurungwe referral district council in Karoi.

Karivhina added that council initiated community engagement process which is headed by council chairperson Badwell Chasara that include ward councilor, traditional leaders and the community to find solutions of conflict management.

He added, ‘‘Communities must desist from violence and respect our professional staff working with us in different forums. We need to foster development through social conflict and cohesion,’’

The latest move by resettled farmers will affect the country strides in fighting for equal health services for all citizens.

Zimbabwe is battling to fulfill millennium development goals that include improvement of maternal health and reduction of child mortality among others.