Tendai Bhebe, Sunday News Reporter
MORE than 50 doctors and specialists under the Zimbabwe Medical Association (Zima) will this month offer free medical services to villagers in Gwanda as part of the organisation’s social responsibility programme.
In an interview, Zima Matabeleland branch president Dr Wedu Ndebele said the aim of the medical outreach was to bring hospital facilities nearer to the people.
“As Zima our mandate is to take care of the welfare of our members (the doctors) as well as to advance the well-being of our clients, the patients.
“We do this by advocating for good working conditions and ensuring that we do social responsibility programmes where we offer ourselves for free to the underprivileged communities in the peri-urban areas or in the rural areas,” he said, adding dates are still being finalised.
Dr Ndebele said the outreach will save a lot of patients who had no capacity to visits hospitals.
“By carrying out these activities we have offered our services for free and have saved some patients from being referred to central hospitals like Mpilo or United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for treatment.
“These activities bring Zima to the people and the people to Zima.
“At these events, we consult for free and give drugs for free through our partners the Pharmacist Association of Zimbabwe as well as some pharmaceutical companies.
“We also get support from the dentists, the army, nurses and other allied medical services,” said Dr Ndebele.
He said the last outreach was in Binga in June where the doctors spent two days and attended to more than 800 patients.
“We had 54 medical personnel who included specialists, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and medical students.
“We expect a similar number of participants from our side and we are looking forward to see more patients than we did in Binga.”
He, however, said financial challenges were hindering their programmes.
“The challenges we face are mostly financial as there are not enough funds to transport all those who want to go for the outreach.
“Accommodation at times is a challenge as we often work until very late, requiring us to spend nights there,” he said.