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Sunday, May 26, 2024

CURE Children’s Hospital improves health services for children

Story by Yolanda Moyo

GOVERNMENT’S commitment to improving the health care system is taking a giant step as CURE Children’s Hospital in Bulawayo expands its operations in providing care for children with life-altering conditions.

Five-year-old Claris from the Chiweshe area in Mashonaland Central, has not had it easy since infancy.

Having developed a debilitating knee condition, mobility has been a distant dream.

Claris is, however, taking her first steps towards a brighter future, thanks to CURE Children’s Hospital in Bulawayo.

The burden has been too heavy to bear for Claris’ mother who is now looking forward to a better future.

“From eight months, Claris couldn’t walk properly. We tried traditional healers, but nothing helped. It broke my heart to see other children play while she had to crawl. This isolation affected Claris deeply. Claris would watch other children her age going to Early Childhood Development (ECD) but couldn’t join them. She longed to be a part of their world.

“We heard about the hospital through a friend. We didn’t have much hope before, but here, it’s different. Now l cannot wait to go back home and let the community see my child because a lot was said about her condition, but l did not know what happened,” said the mother.

Many other Zimbabwean children suffer from untreated orthopaedic conditions due to limited access to specialised care.

This is the case of 12-year-old Lungisani from Lupane who bears the physical and emotional scars of a crocodile attack.

Left with a shattered leg, his family’s world crumbled.

“We sold two cows to try and afford treatment, but it wasn’t enough. CURE gave us a miracle. We were prepared to lose everything to save our son. They not only saved Lungisani’s s leg but also our livelihood,” said Lungisani’s parent.

As Claris takes her first tentative steps and Lungisani walks with renewed purpose, it’s clear that the government of Zimbabwe is keen on providing access to quality health care for all.

“I’m so grateful that now l can walk, I never thought l would be able to. Now I can focus on finishing school and becoming a better person,” said Claris.

“I want to go to ECD like my friends, I used to face challenges from early childhood, l could not crawl like my age mates now l can walk and be free,” said Lungisani.

Established in 2021 through a public-private partnership, Cure Children’s Hospital, the country’s first dedicated paediatric orthopaedic facility, has become a beacon of hope for countless children like Clarissa and Lungisani.

The hospital also does plastic reconstruction and cleft lip and palate surgeries.

CURE spiritual director, Grace Mangwende said, “When the hospital was opened in 2021, it was an 8-bed hospital, now it can accommodate up to 42 children. When we started, we mainly focused on orthopaedic now we have cleft lip and palate surgeries, plastic reconstruction, and lip reconstruction.

“Our hospital is transforming lives in Zimbabwe and when we see the parents and children’s smile, we are happy that there is hope again in the nation.  We address not only the physical ailments but also the emotional and spiritual needs of our patients and their families.”

With its focus on comprehensive care, from surgery to rehabilitation and spiritual support, the hospital is empowering children to reach their full potential.

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