City of Harare has scaled down to six functioning polyclinics due to challenges of staff availability, the Director of Health Dr Prosper Chonzi has said.
Dr Chonzi revealed this during an interview with City of Harare spokesperson, Michael Chideme, on council’s Facebook page recently.
“We have had to scale down on some of our services in the clinics because we had challenges with staff coming to work, staff turning up to be Covid-19 positive and having to be isolated at home.
“So at the moment, we have six polyclinics that are functioning. We have tried to have one polyclinic in each of the districts.
“We also have 10 smaller units of satellite clinics around the city and the services we are offering remain more or less the same; maternity services, services for tonic patients, those who are on ART, immunizations, those collecting their TB medicines and all.
“We are trying to get those services to continue as we also respond to the Covid-19 pandemic:’ said Dr Chonzi. He said they were facing challenges of unavailability of staff.
“The main reason is unavailability of staff especially the polyclinics, where some of the clinics would not have a midwife turning up for duty, particularly at night.
That has created a lot of problems. “So we had to rationalize the services, instead of spreading ourselves too thin, we decided to concentrate our efforts on only six Poly Clinics and provided our services where women can go to deliver, antenatal are can be given to those women and all other ancillary services.
“The two hospitals remain open again with skeletal staff and we are able to admit those Covid-19 patients who need hospitalization.
“The majority of our patients are isolating at home and we are following them up as we do con-tact tracing,” said Chonzi. He made reference to the testing of 30 000 people in Harare under the City Council.
“We had agreed that we will go that route with one of our partners, we are just waiting for them to avail the test kits, and we have got the personnel, the sites already made out.
“Some of them are rapid tests, they won’t take time, and then we will follow up the positive rapid antibody test. “We have Harare as the epicenter in the country.
We have more than more than i 800 positive cases in Harare, and out of those, we have lost 35 people. “The figure might sound low, but one death is one too many for us, you never know the number of tests that we are doing might be an indication as to the magnitude of our problem “If we were doing more tests we would probably see that we have more cases.
“We want to do everything to prevent getting the diseases in the first place. “Let’s exercise social distancing, wearing face masks while you are outside, these will prevent the spread,” he added.