Patients using municipal clinics increase tenfold

THE increasing number of residents accessing anti-retroviral and tuberculosis treatment at Bulawayo City Council clinics has forced the municipality to install prefabricated cabins for use as consultation rooms and waiting areas.

BY Nqobile Bhebhe

Council health services director, Zanele Hwalima said the HIV pandemic was overstretching the available infrastructure.

“It had been observed that the number of patients accessing the municipal clinics had increased tenfold since the emergence of the HIV pandemic.

clinic

“The clinics, which were built long ago were, therefore, no longer adequate for service provision in terms of space,” she is quoted as saying in the latest council minutes. Hwalima said the Health and Child Care ministry had offered to put up the cabins.

“The cabins will be used as consultation rooms and waiting areas for patients receiving antiretroviral treatment and tuberculosis treatment,” read the minutes.

Clinics to benefit from the temporary structures include Cowdray Park, Princess Margaret Rose Dr Shennan, EF Watson, Njube, Mzilikazi, Pumula, Pumula South, Luveve and Nketa.

Last year, the National Aids Council Bulawayo branch said the popular house parties hosted by teenagers were fuelling the spread of HIV and Aids in the city.

Officials said the parties, popular with youths from affluent suburbs, had become a cause for concern as they promoted unprotected sex.

Bulawayo’s HIV hotspots were along Samuel Parirenyatwa Street, Emakhandeni suburb, night clubs and shebeens.

Meanwhile, councillors are worried that the city only has 50 out of a required 115 ambulances.

Acting town clerk, Sikhangele Zhou said most of the ambulances have been in service for 10 years now.

“Council had manpower, machinery and equipment challenges,” she is quoted in the minutes.

“In the current budget, provision was made to procure four ambulances, which would improve the current situation.”

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