Photo: Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik

Villagers donate to build their own community clinic

CAPE TOWN – Villagers within the rural parts of Eastern Cape have donated to help build a community healthcare clinic.

Residents of a village in Nquthu, Dutywa, Eastern Cape have been struggling with their access to essential healthcare services with residents saying the mobile clinic stopped arriving in the community 5 years ago. Ambulances have stopped assisting the rural community due to the poor road infrastructure.

The village has many elderly residents seeking medical attention. Access to medication has become a challenge with the nearest healthcare facility, the Nqabarha clinic, being 8km away. This makes it difficult and especially dangerous as it is a two-hour walk encountering a river which is nearly impossible to cross especially during rainy weather.

Nqabarha clinic serves 32 villages and closes in the afternoon, meaning villagers from Nquthu would need to get their day started at 3 am in order to be assisted on that same day.

The village had been begging the Eastern Cape Health Department for a mobile clinic but that came with further challenges so instead, the residents decided to come up with their own solution by getting together with each house donating R100 to buy zinc sheets and donate old window frames with two men volunteering to build the clinic.

The community found it difficult to get all the necessary funds together with the majority of the residents unemployed and live off government grants but fortunately, the Ward 12 Councillor, Mninawa Peter, has been working with the health department as well as the community in a way forward and to assist further development of the clinic.

 

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