By Paidashe Mandivengerei
Health care services in Harare’s municipal clinics have improved as nurses are now reporting for work, Health minister has said.
Early last month (November) city council nurses downed tools over poor wages, leaving expectant mothers stranded.
According to the Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo only half of the expected 179 nurses have abandoned the strike following salary reviews by the Harare city council.
Government facilitated the opening of Edith Opperman Maternity Clinic and the numbers of home deliveries had since reduced in Mbare’s high-density suburb where a traditional midwife, Mbuya Gwena was helping expecting mothers deliver.
In a ministerial statement on the state of the health care system in Zimbabwe, Moyo said most maternity wards in other locations were still closed.
“All the 17 City Council doctors have been attending to duty.
An average of 95 out of an expected 179 nurses turned up for duty at 6 Municipal Clinics as of 25th November 2019 and an average of 70 out of an expected 138 nurses on 20th November and an average of 99 out of 179 on 26th November.
Services within the Harare City health facilities remains rationalised to six polyclinics – Mabvuku, Hatcliffe, Kuwadzana, Mufakose, Hatfield and Edith Opperman and one hospital with the majority of services being concentrated to Outpatients Department.
An audit of Harare City Health delivery situation was done. Most workers remain on strike with a skeleton staff found at the clinics. Most clinics remain closed including maternity wards thereby increasing home-based deliveries.
The Ministry of Health and Child Care, working in conjunction with Harare City Council Health Department has enabled the opening of Edith Opperman Clinic and this has eased the problem of home-based deliveries. Staff from Harare Hospital has been seconded to open Edith Opperman Maternity Clinic. They will be working with three sisters in charge withdrawn from other city council clinics. The clinic is open for 24 hours. This has seen a rapid move of patients from the traditional midwife in Mbare to the functional Edith Opperman Clinic.”