By Vanessa Nyathi
Warren Park 1 Polyclinic has reopened after being closed for four months when nurses downed tools due to various reasons including fear of contracting the deadly Covid-19 virus due to lack of personal protective clothing (PPEs).
Business at the clinic resumed after the government agreed to pay them Covid-19 allowances and provide the nurses with adequate PPEs.
When this publication visited the clinic yesterday, patients were being attended to as usual with most nurses on duty wearing their PPEs.
When the clinic closed towards end of July last year, nurses demanded a pay rise as they could no longer afford high transport costs. The nurses also did not have PPEs and they feared contracting the virus.
However clinic reopened in November but some of the issues were reportedly not fully addressed.
In an interview with Bustop TV, the city’s health director, Dr Prosper Chonzi said government came on board to help the nurses with allowances and protective clothing.
“Government has been offering covid-19 allowances and PPEs though we are not 100 percent equipped with protection against the disease. As for polyclinics like Warren Park, the challenges are that we have never had enough equipment for the whole staff.
“Warren Park clinic uses rapid tests and as result many patients including our own staff are testing positive yet we have no space to admit these patients.
“It is now a challenge because polyclinics offer some other services like maternity and immunisation for children and now in this pandemic it is hard to cater for all the services,” he said.
A survey by this publication showed that 3 out 10 patients who got tested for corona at the clinic were positive including staff yet the clinic did not have adequate facilities to cater for such patients.
The situation is likely to be worse as covid-19 cases continue to rise.
Meanwhile, Chitungwiza Municipality last week closed its St Mary’s clinic after seven health staff were infected by Covid-19, resulting in one death, and will reopen it when more staff are available.
Acting town clerk Dr Tonderai Kasu said that the town did not have enough health staff out of isolation to man all clinics.