By Shingirai Vambe.
Rusape- Makoni Rural District Council (MRDC) wary of shortage of trained medical staff, in all their 22 clinics during a time the world is riddled by the Covid-19 pandemic.
MRDC has 22 clinics in Rusape, with the 23rd one in Nzvimbe which was completed recently and expected to open its doors soon.
Chief Executive Officer for Makoni, Dr Edward Pise, told Post On Sunday that due to the treasury measures, of freezing posts which were recently unfrozen, Makoni had a severe shortage of trained nurses resulting to burnouts and overworking of the few practitioners available.
“MRDC currently requires more than 50 nurses in all its clinics from government, since treasury has unfrozen the posts for medical practitioners, and we are in urgent need as we are overwhelmed in all our centres” Pise said.
MRDC clinics cover a population of plus or minus two hundred and fifty three thousand people in all its clinics, with headlands said to be offering child birth deliveries more than the referral Rusape General Hospital offering services to a population of almost twenty two thousand.
Headlands clinic, as small as it is, require more than nine trained nurses and two nurse aids and a general hand.
“We have since made an application to establish a hospital in Headlands and it was approved, and funds are limiting us but we are supposed to have it soon as there is high number of home deliveries in Headlands than any area in Makoni” he added.
Most clinics in Makoni are within a distance of between thirty to seventy kilometres from either Rusape or any other clinic within the District, and in that regard many are said to be absconding the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination due to distance resulting from rural and resettlement settings.
The MDRC health officer Tendai Masanganise said the Ministry of Health now has a lot of programmes and on a monthly basis they are going for workshops, with the current figure of either 2 or 3 nurses per clinic leading to shortage of staff and poor service delivery.
“The need for more staff is required, the health sector has increased its programmes, which are also helping especially with new infections and rare diseases which we are being trained on different platforms. With the current number of nurses we have many of the trained nurses now have quite a number of leave days and once one goes on leave, the clinic will be left with a nurse aid who is not allowed to conduct child deliveries”.
She further highlighted that the shortage has been caused by some trained practitioners who have since resigned and some who died during the period government had frozen all the posts.
Makoni Rural has been recently taking in voluntary health workers whom they would incentivize and at times borrow man-power from the main hospital but due to the Covid 19 pandemic all those who came from the general hospital have been referred back to their stations.