By Ruvimbo Muchenje
WARREN Park Polyclinic has effectively shut down following the industrial action by City of Harare nurses on November 4, leaving mainly expecting women and infants in need of vaccination in dire straits, NewsDay can reveal.
NewsDay yesterday observed that the clinic, which is usually a hive of activity, was deserted, with expecting and nursing mothers being turned away by the security guard manning the closed gates.
Ethel Mugadzaweta told NewsDay that after being turned away from the clinic, where she had taken her 10-week-old infant for diphtheria, polio and tetanus vaccination, she was going to Chitungwiza Central Hospital where she heard services were being provided.
“My child will die if I sit around and wait for this clinic, I am going to Chitungwiza Hospital. I hear they have not joined the strike yet,” she said.
The security guard at the premises, who refused to be identified, said the doctors had left their business cards for private consultations.
“I have with me business cards left by doctors who work here so that those in need of medical attention can consult because no one is reporting for work,” the security guard said.
The nurses have declared that they would not go back until their employer gives them a living wage.
Speaking to NewsDay, ward 15 councillor Tichavaona Mhetu argued that the clinic was operating, but only attending to critical issues.
“I spent the better part of Thursday at the clinic and they said they are attending serious cases like women who are already experiencing labour pains,” he said.
Other polyclinics in high-density areas such as Kuwadzana and Glen View are reportedly taking serious cases only.
Ordinary citizens, who have been flocking to council clinics after doctors at major referral centres downed tools two months ago, have been left with no primary health care alternative.