Community Care Initiative: Health
Providing access to health care, clean water and sanitation and combating malnutrition is at the heart of the Tekeshe Foundation's vision. Unlike the Urban areas where people have access to health care, the people in the rural areas have limited access to health care because hospitals, clinics, doctors and nurses are either non-existent or often inaccessible due to poor roads or inadequate means of transportation, or simply poverty. Where they exist, community clinics simply don’t have the resources to cater to the medical needs of the communities they serve.
The healthcare crisis has been excerbated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Zimbabwe is among the Sub-Saharan countries that have been hit the hardset by the pandemic. In 2006, an estimated 1.7 million residents of Zimbabwe were reported to be suffering directly from the effects of HIV/AIDS. According to the World Health Organization, one out of 4 people in Zimbabwe over the age of 15 is HIV positive. Life expectancy is 34 years for men and 33 years for women. Projected data on life expectancy for 2010 continues to be bleak for Zimbabwe: for example, life expectancy without AIDS would have reached about 70 years, but as a result of the epidemic it is expected to decline to about 32 years. Though efforts are being made on a sizeable scale by the government of Zimbabwe, international and local non-governmental organizations, a large percentage of PLWHA(People Living With HIV/AIDS) are still not receiving proper treatment and related care and support services. People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) still have to endure marginalization, stigmatization and discrimination.
The following are some of the problems that face the rural areas of Chipinge:
- Prevention education, which is usually available in urban communities, is not readily available in the rural areas
- The few hospitals in the district are either without doctors or not readily accessible due to inadequate means of transportation.
- The community clinics do not have the resources needed to adequately treat HIV/AIDS patients.
- Limited access to health care in these rural areas means that people with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are unable to get treatment.
- Lack of diagnosis and treatment increases the risk of transmission especially among the youths and sex workers; these being high risk groups.
- For those PLWHA who have access to ARV drugs, they are taking the drugs without the proper supervision of a doctor and they don’t receive periodic medical checkups.
In March 2007 we launched our Community Care Program. By partnering with a range of partners, from village health committees to local churches, for example United Church Of Christ Of Zimbabwe (UCCZ), we help build the means to deliver medical care to people in the Rimbi Clinic catchment area which caters to a population of approximately 10,000 people.
Through our partnership with Rimbi Community clinic we raise HIV/AIDS awareness, provide prevention and control while providing care and support to those infected and affected. Through our partnership with UCCZ we provide transportation to bring a medical doctor to Rimbi clinic to treat patients. We supply Rimbi community clinic with much needed items such as, medical supplies, equipment and medicines.
In Her Own Words By Priscilla Mambanda - head nurse at
I am the head nurse at Rimbi Clinic. The clinic has undergone a lot of challenges. I am very grateful to the help that has been provided by The Tekeshe Foundation.
The Foundation has given us donations that include gloves, drugs, and needles, glucometers, linen sheets, compressors, scissors, clothing and the biggest donation of an Ambulance. Life at the clinic has improved immensely due to these donations. Before the arrival of the ambulance we were struggling to serve the community. We now have patients with birth complications being transported to Chipinge, St Peters and Mt Selinda hospitals. Many lives have been saved due to the availability of the ambulance. All emergence cases are now easy to handle with the community getting services even during the middle of the night. I want to thank The Tekeshe Foundation for making this possible.
- Under this program we trained 10 caregivers who raise HIV/AIDS in their communities and provide home based care services to PLWHA.
- For the past 4 years The Tekeshe Foundation has worked in collaboration with United Church Of Christ missionaries from New Hampshire and friends of the foundation in Massachusetts to send 4 40-foot containers of food, medicines, medical supplies, and many other items to Zimbabwe.
- To date the foundation has provided Rimbi Community clinic with medical supplies, vitamins, medicines and baby clothing.
- The Tekeshe Foundation provides vitamins, home based care kits, food, clothing and home based care services to 50 HIV/AIDS patients.
- The Tekeshe Foundation donated an ambulance to Rimbi Clinic
- We provide baby formula to sustain the the lives of orphans
In Her Own Words By Norah - Beneficiary of our Health