Zimbabwe

Pregnant women turned away

by Zwanai Sithole
Harare

As a result of critical food shortages at Lusulu Clinic, the staff will only admit pregnant women if they bring their own food supplies.

The MDC-T councilor for the area, Themba Munkombwe, made the startling revelation.

“There is no food for patients and expecting mothers at Lusulu clinic. Most mothers travel long distances to the clinic to deliver, only to be told the clinic does not have food. Most people end up stranded at the clinic with nothing to eat,” said Munkombwe.

Munkombwe said his efforts to assist the mothers and other desperate patients with food are being thwarted by police and nurses at the clinic.

“As the councilor of the ward, I recently sourced food for the women but the police prevented me from distributing it, saying the donation was politically motivated.”

He added that the conditions in the clinic were squalid. “There is no order at the clinic. People are cooking in the open,” he said.

The councilor said the 10-bed clinic was currently accommodating more than 50 expecting mothers, some of whom had travelled as much as 40 km to get there. Due to overcrowding, the local community had built an outpatient pole and dagga structure to accommodate the increasing number of patients.

A nurse at the clinic, who refused to be named, confirmed that the health centre was affected by a critical food shortage.