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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Health Resilience Fund makes a difference in Mat South

Story by Yolanda Moyo

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has made significant strides towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by strengthening medical care at a community level.

Most people like 43-year-old Chelesani Ndlovu from Matabeleland South province used to face challenges in accessing basic healthcare due to the long distance from her village to the nearest clinic which is 30 kilometres away.

“I stay here in Mkwidzwi Village, the nearest clinic is located more than 30 kilometres I am not able to walk such a distance to the clinic. Our geographical location makes us vulnerable,” she said.

Government and its development partners have, however, come to the rescue of Ms Ndlovu Chelesani through the Health Resilience Fund (HRF).

“For many of us in rural areas, traveling long distances and affording medical care is a major hurdle. The HRF programme brings hope for a healthier future,” said one of the beneficiaries.

Another added, “This is a very important step for us because our geographical location is not conducive for us to have access to health care, going to the clinics near us just to be checked for VIAC is something one cannot do, but having these come here is beneficial for us.”

“Before the HRF programme, traveling to the nearest clinic was a challenge. Now, the mobile clinic visits our village regularly, and I can access the medication I need for my chronic illness,” one said.

The collaborative effort, launched in 2022 and running until 2025, focuses on women, children under the age of five, adolescents, and other vulnerable demographic groups.

Matabeleland South Acting Provincial Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Muza said, “The ministry is implementing what is called the community health strategy. The goal is to improve primary health care, so there has been a lot of investment in strengthening the community health care strategy.

“This is one of the interventions that we are working on as a ministry with support from HRF partners. With the integrated health concept, we want to try and reach out to people closer to their homes and probably identify where we have gaps with our village health workers being in the ground. We are ensuring that people get primary health care closest to their homesteads where outreach points are conducted at different locations in the district. Services provided range from maternal, VIAC services and vaccinations.”

By addressing perennial challenges like maternal deaths and strengthening the country’s healthcare system, the HRF programme is fostering a healthier future for communities throughout the nation.

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