It was unimaginable that an ill individual would leave urban clinics and hospitals to seek treatment at a rural clinic but this is now a reality for Mayezani villagers in rural Gwanda after a private clinic Jona & Nana Mlotshwa Clinic was built in their village.
The construction of Jona & Nana Mlotshwa Clinic is a break from the past when most investors would put their monies in urban set up while neglecting the rural areas.
Jona & Nana Mlotshwa Clinic was founded by Ms Hlengiwe Mlotshwa, a United States of America based nurse who grew up in the same village.
The clinic is tucked about 40km from Gwanda town behind a hill just after Mayezani shops in Gwanda North.
Villagers from Mayezani have described Ms Mlotshwa as a God sent angel saving their lives.
When a Chronicle news crew visited the village recently, villagers spoke glowingly of the modestly built clinic which they said has saved so many lives since it was commissioned in January.
The news crew could not access the medical facilities with officials saying clearance had to be sought from the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
A villager, Ms Musawenkosi Moyo said she had to request that her daughter who had fallen ill in Bulawayo and was admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital be allowed to come to their rural home for treatment at the clinic.
“It had been close to a week since my daughter was admitted to a hospital in Bulawayo without getting treatment. I then requested that she be allowed to seek external help and after she was discharged from Mpilo Central Hospital, I told her to come to the clinic and a medical check-up was done on her.
The staff at the clinic prescribed medication for her and we bought it at the same clinic. Within a few days she was back on her feet. So, this clinic is saving lives. It is doing things those other institutions are failing to do within our community yet it is very affordable,” said Ms Moyo.
Another villager, Mr Innocent Ndlovu said what he likes about the clinic is that it conducts tests on patients as part of diagnosing their illnesses. “They do thorough tests on patients unlike what is done at other clinics. Members of staff are very professional and know how to handle patients,” said Mr Ndlovu.
Area village head Mr Stanley Mlotshwa, said Ms Mlotshwa was her cousin and she initiated the construction of the clinic in 2018 to develop her home area.
Mr Mlotshwa said since the clinic opened in January, every Wednesday, a doctor visits the clinic to attend to patients.
He said despite the fact that Ms Mlotshwa is based in the US, she ensures the clinic operates smoothly.
He said the community appreciated the services of the clinic as they no longer travel long distances to seek health care services.
“In the past we used to travel to Gwanda or Bulawayo to seek treatment but now we have a clinic close to us. We just walk to the clinic so we no longer incur transport costs,” he said.
Mr Mlotshwa said all the clinic’s members of staff were locals.-Chronicle