Nurses down tools to fill holes
Nurses at Limpopo’s Matavhela Clinic in Vhembe put down their medical equipment and took up spades early in December to address some of the clinic’s maintenance issues.
Mulalo Mudzuli remembers coming to the clinic in early December. Inside the consulting rooms, one thing was missing: the nurses.
“All the nurses had left the consulting rooms and were outside in the clinic yard filling holes,” says Mudzuli. “They told us that there was nothing else they could have done because if they didn’t fix the damage themselves, no one else would,”
The nurses’ plight seems to have touched the community, which has rallied around them.
“We, as patients and community members, feel that it is important for us to help too because it is, after all, our clinic,” adds Godfrey Ngulummbi from Mafukani. “We are determined to make it a better one because there is no other clinic nearby for us to use.”
“We are aware of the damages at Matavhela Clinic because they have reported them,” Maumela says. “We, as local management, are still waiting for a response from the district, then we will take things from there.”
District officials’ apparent disregard for the clinic’s problems has only deepened residents’ commit, say some like Engedzani Maluta from Hamabila village
“What we have seen is that the department of health takes the problems of the local clinics as something unimportant,” Maluta adds. “Because of the situation, we’ve decided to gather around at the clinic as community members and help fill the holes.”
“We really are having a tough time because we have to come to the clinic and wait for the nurses to finish filling the holes,” Maluta says. “The Department of Health should consider our clinic’s concerns.”