Villagers’ treacherous journey for healthcare

Villagers’ treacherous journey for healthcareKwaMhlanga village women queuing to be screened for cervical cancer. Photo: Zizo Zikali/Health-e

For KwaMhlanga villagers seeking healthcare may actually kill them. Many residents of the Eastern Cape village have deserted health services due to the alarming rate of rape and murders in a forest separating the village and the clinic in Flagstaff town.

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Residents who cannot afford transport have to walk through the thick forest where a large number of violent crimes occur.

This, said resident Noluvo Mhlanga, is why most villagers, especially the elderly, have deserted accessing health services.

“The forest separating our village and the town has become a hub for criminals and we are scared to walk through it,” she said, adding that because of the dangerous journey her mother doesn’t comply with her medication.

“We have asked our community leadership to intervene and engage relevant departments to come to our rescue,” Mhlanga said.

Service point

The community’s pleas have been heard and during the Department of Health’s Check Impilo campaign KwaMhlanga was identified as a service point. Nonyameko Tibe, the community- based service manager at the Department of Health, said monthly health services will be provided at the service point.

“According to the information provided by the clinics, the area of KwaMhlanga has a high prevalence of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV and Aids and tuberculosis. A church hall has been allocated to provide health services each month,” said Tibe.

“We will ensure that the people of KwaMhlanga and surrounding areas will have access to primary healthcare services,” she said. – Health-e News