Bulawayo clinics to close

As health care in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate and add to an already desperate humanitarian crisis, major cities are now facing further limited medical services.


In Bulawayo, council clinics are now closed during weekends and holidays because the local authority reportedly cannot provide transport for its workers on a regular basis. This is according to a report released last week that has revealed that the closure of the clinics would be for a period of three months in the hope that the dire economic situation in the country improves. Thorngrove Hospital, the country’s biggest tuberculosis treatment centre would also be affected by the measures described as ‘desperate’ by councillors.


The Bulawayo council’s 19 clinics have become the only alternative for residents who refuse to be treated at the poorly resourced government referral hospitals. Private clinics are also now charging in foreign currency, a luxury many of the cities residents do not have.


According to a report tabled before a full council meeting last Wednesday, the closures are a temporary measure ‘that will be reviewed from time to time and cut across other council services’. The report also detailed that TB patients would still be able to collect all their medication during the week from the nearest clinic so that their treatment is not disrupted.


It’s understood a six month closure had been on the table of the Bulawayo council’s General Purposes Committee but the period was reportedly reduced to three months amidst fears that a longer period would have a serious impact on the health of the city’s more than 1.5 million inhabitants. However, the report and closure of the clinics will do little to ensure the health security of the residents as the country faces worsening health conditions and ongoing doctors and nurses strikes.

SWRadio Africa

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