AUGUST and September are particularly busy months for Nkulumane Clinic as this is when the maternity ward experiences a surge in the number of women giving birth.
Report by Pamela Mhlanga
The increase in the number of births during these two months had been puzzling the Bulawayo City Council for a while, as its staff members were struggling to cope, but mayor Thaba Moyo says he has solved the mystery.
Moyo says most of the men in that suburb work in neighbouring South Africa and visit during the festive season. He said when they return to their bases, they leave their women expecting. Come August and September, Nkulumane experiences a baby boom!
Addressing stakeholders during the handover ceremony of medical supplies and stationery donated by the Rotary Path to the clinic yesterday, Moyo said Nkulumane was a relatively new suburb comprising a young population in the active reproductive age group.
“Most of the husbands work in the neighbouring countries and come back during the festive season hence the increase of deliveries during the months of August to September,” he said.
Moyo said while the clinic continued to deliver a high number of babies each month, the city’s maternity units faced challenges in terms of resources.
“In July last year the government directed that fees for maternity services be scrapped in an effort to reduce the maternal mortality ratio quoted at 960 per 100 000 live births,” he said. “Service utilisation in the clinic increased from 1 500 ante-natal care bookings to 2 500 over a 10-month period.”
Nkulumane Clinic is the second busiest maternity clinic in the city after Pelandaba Clinic — delivering about 150 babies every month. Moyo, however, said the noble intervention was unfortunately not matched by injection of requisite resources that would have ensured a positive outcome for the mother and child.
The clinic reportedly had only received funding for two months since the scrapping of maternity user fees.
“The city appeals for donors to assist in the provision of maternity equipment and medicines to ensure that we run our clinics efficiently,” he said.
The mayor said the city also appealed for resource injection in the maternity sector to ensure that patients were not left at a disadvantage. Nkulumane Clinic opened the outpatients department in 1987 and the maternity unit was opened on October 14 1995. The clinic yesterday received medical equipment worth $80 000 including bed linen, wheelchairs, walkers, among others from the rotary club.
The Rotary Bulawayo South president Lesley Williams said the organisation had received a wonderful opportunity to share in the joy of giving and receiving supplies and equipment that would make the clinic function better.