COMMUNITIES in the Chilonga area of Chiredzi South are walking long distances to the nearest health centre seeking Covid-19 vaccination, but the few clinics in the area are always out of the vaccines.
The area is one of the least developed places in the country with few clinics and schools. The area also has dilapidated infrastructure, particularly roads as well as communication network.
The NewsHawks visited that area last Friday and many people indicated in interviews that they are willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19, but the vaccines were not available.
Chief Chilonga, born Tiyani Chilonga, said people in his area are struggling to get Covid-19 vaccines, a development which he said is different from other areas in the province. He urged the government to address the issue as a matter of urgency so that his people also get protection from the pandemic.
“We have a big challenge in our area, our people are not accessing Covid-19 vaccines on time. Our people are walking long distances to clinics, but most of the time the clinics will be out of vaccines. Government should introduce mobile teams which will visit remote areas, as you know we have few clinics in our area and the current scenario is putting our people at the risk of contracting the deadly virus,” Chilonga said.
Beauty Mabunda from Gwaseche area of Chilonga said she visited Chilonga Clinic three times with the intention of get vaccination, but found the clinic without vaccines on all occasions.
Her home is nine kilometres from the clinic.
“I went to Chilonga Clinic three times but the health centre had no vaccines. This is common in our area. We are willing to be vaccinated but the situation is not allowing us. We are at risk of contracting the virus but there is nothing we can do about it because we don’t have access to vaccines. The government should address this issue quickly so that we get the vaccine,” Mabunda said.
Chiredzi district medical officer Brian Dhladhlara told The NewsHawks all clinics in Chiredzi district now have Covid-19 vaccines. He said his ministry is working on increasing mobile teams so that all parts of the district can be covered.
Dhladhlara said most people are walking long distances to clinics for vaccination but the issue will be addressed soon.
“Currently all our medical facilities have vaccines, but the issue of people walking more than 10km to clinics in our district is a great concern to us. We introduced mobile vaccination teams and we are working to introduce more teams so that all areas of the district can be covered,” Dhladhlara said.