HCC takes medicine to communities  

HARARE City Council (HCC) has embarked on community outreach programmes as part of efforts to enable citizens with chronic illnesses access to medical supplies and healthcare.
This comes as the HCC has scaled down functioning polyclinics from 42 to six as council nurses have withdrawn their services.
It also comes as the country’s public health sector has hit an all-time low with senior and junior doctors and nurses on strike over poor remuneration, lack of medical equipment and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Giving an update on the HCC’s response to Covid-19 recently, HCC director health services, Prosper Chonzi indicated that the outreach programmes were aimed at improving access to medication and health care for other diseases not related to Covid-19.
“We have now started outreach programmes where we are going to shopping centres, halls and other stadia with a partner where we are offering chronic medicines including ARVs, therapy for TB and other chronic illnesses.
“So people can go there with their cards and medicine is delivered. What we don’t want are people defaulting in their medicines because they are unable to move from where they are registered in Mufakose to Mbare,” said Chonzi.
The HCC director health services said the ongoing industrial action had prompted the outreach programmes.
“Our nurses have withdrawn their services and we have scaled down operations to six polyclinics in the city of Harare. That is still the same position that we are in. We have six polyclinics that are functioning namely Kuwadzana, Mabvuku, Budiriro, Glen View, Hatcliffe and Mbare.
So these clinics are still operating and we have tried to put our resources in these clinics. We are offering all the services that are offered at polyclinics but only in those six clinics,” Chonzi said.
Meanwhile, Chonzi has revealed the City’s confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths slowed down in the past week.
As at August 21 2020, Zimbabwe had 5 815 confirmed cases, including 4 587 recoveries and 152 deaths.
“Of late we have been comfortable because the number of people that have been dying in our city has reduced. There was a time, I think, about two weeks ago where people were dying in car parks at the Central Hospital but that is now a thing of the past. We have not had anyone dying unattended.
“The numbers generally have gone down. The numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases have also gone down but maybe that is due to testing challenges, but the people who are in the communities who have been exhibiting symptoms are also significantly coming down and those who are exhibiting symptoms are mild. We have not been having people with severe and critical symptoms which will then need critical ICU care,” Chonzi said.
He, however, appealed to the public to continue putting on masks in public all the time, to practise good personal and environmental hygiene as well as social distancing in order to end the spread of the virus.


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