Story by Abigirl Tembo
Villagers in the Nhowe area of Murehwa and surrounding communities are enjoying the fruits of the government’s quest to improve access to health care after getting an ambulance from the 32 ambulances that have been distributed countrywide.
The ambulance means a lot to the people Chetsanga, Matunhike, Mukara, Maparura and Mahute who have been using open trucks and pirate taxis to ferry the sick to the hospital for the past four years.
Another said, “We are grateful to the president and his deputy for the assistance they have given to us. We requested an ambulance last month and now it’s here. This shows our leaders have us at heart.”
“We are very happy with our ambulance especially us as women we know that if we encounter any challenges during labour we will be swiftly transferred to Marondera or Harare,” added another beneficiary.
“We had gone for years without an ambulance with patients using an open truck to go to Marondera or Harare hospital whenever they developed complications, but now we know the patients will be transported safely and we are grateful,” a member of the community told the ZBC News.
Murehwa District Medical Officer Dr Joseph Taruona said the district is eternally grateful to the second republic for the intervention.
“We had a lot of challenges before we got these ambulances, and we would ask for an ambulance at Murehwa hospital and sometimes it will be occupied. It was also costly to send an ambulance from Murehwa to come and pick up a patient here in Nhowe and take him or her to Murehwa in terms of fueling.
“The other challenge for the doctors that are working here is some of them are reporting fatigue and some challenges in terms of managing patients when you know that you cannot help this patient and needs him or her to be transferred, but now you are stuck because you have no ambulance. So it was affecting them mentally, but when we got this ambulance it came as a relief for us. The patients are also getting timely services, particularly the maternity patients,” he said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been working round the clock to strengthen the country’s health sector with the government having procured 32 fully-equipped ambulances in the past few months which are already in use while another batch of 68 ambulances is on the way.
Development partners have also chipped in with 4 more ambulances to make them 40, to beef up the government fleet.