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July 28, 2015

TB jails Zimbabwe prison guards

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,

By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI-Prison officer Mathias Kadiki (not his real name) has been on guard to Roderick Chambwe (not his real name) for the past three weeks at Karoi hospital side ward.

Chambwe, a convicted criminal is serving part of his sentence at the local prison.

He is on tuberculosis medication but the two are now sharing tiny side ward at the hospital where a prisoner lies on the bed as he coughs.

Not protected

‘’ I am exposed to contact TB though I am assigned to night-duty with some patients suffering from TB. As workers no one is concerned about our welfare and plight’’ says Kadiki in our interview punctured with deep hard coughs from Chambwe.

Kadiki is not protected against TB that can be spread through the air. The writer had sneaked into the hospital room during lunch hour.

A SafAids media manual on TB and HIV says, ‘’TB transmission occurs indoors. An individual risk of exposure is determined by the concentration in contaminated air and length of time a person breathes that air’’

The risk is high when one has had close and prolonged indoor exposure with the affected person suffering from TB as it will affect approximately 10 and 15 people per year’’

Transfer on medical grounds

Prison sources at Hurungwe prison situated about 50 kilometers south of Karoi town say one officer had to apply for transfer on medical grounds early this year.

‘’ Our prison cells are in deplorable state as we are using former farm tobacco barns as cells while we are using former farm workers’ houses as accommodation. It is pathetic here for both prisoners and the officers.’’, an officer who can not be named for professional reasons says.

Government took over the farm in 2003 during the height of land reform but it has not been rehabilitated for prison officers.

2 Billion Infected

Approximately 2 billion (one-third of the world population) are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis the cause of TB. It is cause of one person in every three people AIDS worldwide.

Doctor Mkholeli Ngwenya within the ministry of Health‘s TB and Aids unit admits that even health workers are at risk to be infected during the discharge of their duties in assisting TB patients.

Silent death for care givers

‘’There is need for advocacy and assistance to health workers as well who are fighting to combat the spread of TB and Aids. Care givers are dying in silence. They are vulnerable’’ he says.

Dr Ngwenya explains that the health ministry is working with other ministries among them defence, police among others in educating them on the link between TB and Aids as a health issue. ‘’We are working together on TB at workplaces to lobby for policy shift by the authorities. Generally prisons are overcrowded with poor ventilation and lack of sunlight’’ says Doctor Ngwenya.

Hope renewed

His words of assurances are what prison officer and many others in his predicament have been waiting for too long. Hope is renewed as Kadiki says, ‘’every worker has a right to shelter food among other basics ‘’

For Zimbabwe workers which is ranked the 17th among 22 high burden countries on TB worldwide, there is great need of policy shift as it is a major public health with estimated incidence rate of 539 cases per 100 000 people according to World Health Organisation Global Tuberculosis’s report of 2009.

As the battle to combat TB continues, officer Kadiki says, ‘’ I hope it will be soon that workers Government and other stakeholders address our health plight”

For Kadiki and some prison officers, only time will tell.

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July 24, 2015

Kariba Publicity Association striving to market Zimbabwe

Filed under: Travel — Nhaudzenyu @ 8:35 am
Tags: ,
Kariba dam wall another source of tourism attraction,,,,,,,,,,Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Kariba dam wall another source of tourism attraction,,,,,,,,,,Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

By Nhau Mangirazi
KARIBA- Kariba Publicity Association is making strides to market the country through the strategic resort town as one of safe destination tourism centers bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Speaking in an interview here, Kariba Publicity Association chairman Nigel Ncube said though it was registered in the early 1960, KPA was formally registered as a trust in 2011.
‘’We are happy that domestic tourism is improving and internationally we are marketing Kariba to the outside world. Although our tourism arrivals have improved, we are still yet to get more compared to the pre 1999 era when tourism was major income revenue contributor for the country’’ said Ncube in an interview here.
According to Ncube, domestic tourism is gaining ground here as form of employment for local fish traders ran out during a Zimbabwe Power Company versus Dynamos match in May.
‘’We ran out of fish during that match and it boosts our revenues in a small way. We are happy that during such matches we get improved arrivals in lodges, hotels among other players in the tourism sector’’ added Ncube.
Although there were no statistics from Zimbabwe Tourism Authority to support his claims, Ncube was jovial that they will involve all stakeholders to keep the light focused on Kariba town as safe destination.
‘’It is our mandate to market our town and we will strive to include all stakeholders. Of late, some of our clients blamed Air Zimbabwe on their flight cancellation affecting their travelling plans. We hope it will be rectified soon and boost our tourism arrivals’’ he added.
However, Air Zimbabwe that resumed domestic flights in August last year defended flight cancellations as unforeseen challenges that could affect some foreign tourists.
Air Zimbabwe public relations officer Shingai Dhliwayo said flights cancellations were demand induced and few incidences were to do with unforeseen technical challenges.
‘’We are providing service to Kariba route though the route is still growing but we are happy to promote this important tourism destination. Whenever we have had such disruptions we have sought alternate transportation to deliver on the promise to our passengers and this has been in the form of replacement aircraft wherever possible. However, we are happy to promote the growth of this very important destination on our Zimbabwean tourism itinerary’’, said Dhliwayo in written response to TheWeekly Mirror.
Although tourism arrivals surged last year, but the latest information makes a dent to the country tourism sector.
‘’These cancelation has had negative impact and currently affecting the tourists arrivals as it goes down to other down-stream operations here’’ said one tour operator speaking on condition that he is not named.

July 23, 2015

Chinhoyi residents bitter

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:21 pm
Tags: , , ,

By Nhau Mangirazi

CHINHOYI- Residents here are up in arms with Chinhoyi municipality over poor service delivery that has seen the standards worsening in the Mashonaland West provincial situated about 115 kilometers west of Harare.
Speaking during a public meeting facilitated jointly by Center for Community Development in Zimbabwe, CCDZ, and Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe, Misa, some residents complained that council has failed to upgrade on service delivery.
‘’Our municipality is a tail of disaster as refuse collection is hardly collected on time. Furthermore water supplies are erratic
although we are being overcharged through estimates charges monthly’’ complained Rhoda Matara of Mupata section.
Another resident Mhizha Macheka added his voice on ballooned labor force that has seen the council failing to pay its workers on time. ’’The problem lies with our politicians who made unfulfilled promises and forced municipality to recruit unqualified personnel who are being paid for nothing. This political madness is haunting after some mainly
women employed through political power of a certain political party. The council must fire them and we must have qualified workers executing their duties.’’ said Macheka.

Councilor Dyke Makumbi of Zanu PF admitted that they are failing to improve Chinhoyi town Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Councilor Dyke Makumbi of Zanu PF admitted that they are failing to improve Chinhoyi town Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Jacquline Chikakano of Misa stressing a point in Chinhoyi Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Residents also blamed lack of transparency on a newly formed shadowy Residents Association that is facing teething problems.
Misa-Zimbabwe representative Jacqueline Chikakano told the gathering that residents have the right to air out their grievances with the
authorities.

‘’You have right to seek audience with the council where you think your rights have been infringed upon’’, said Chikakano.
No official from the municipality attended the meeting, although a  Zanu PF councilor Dyke Makumbi blamed residents for not using their power as residents.
‘’It is unfortunate that some political party members have political tension prior to elections and may never be comfortable to attend meetings called by opposition councilors. This affects developments as we need your input’’ said Makumbi.
He also admitted the Zanu PF dominated council has failed to turn around the fortunes of the town.
‘’We are failing to repair two cars bought by the previous council and am sorry to say that even recruitment of workers has been politicized affecting council operations’’, he added.
CCDZ senior programs officer Vellim Nyama said they are encouraging citizens to be active rather than passive as it is the duty of citizens to demand services from councils.
‘’Residents are right holders and the local authorities as duty bearers they have an obligation to fulfill their mandate that is
providing adequate services to residents. For far too long citizens have been taken for granted by duty bearers as they are not consulted in major decisions that affect them directly.’’ Said Nyama.
He added that CCDZ will stand to facilitate and encourage citizens to be ‘’involved through attending full council meetings, asking their respective councilors to consult them in decision making processes, through feedback meetings as it is their right to know what their local authorities are doing’’
‘’We believe that if local authorities use the bottom up approach rather than cosmetic approach that some of them use, development will remain a night mare. We are also educating citizens on chapter 14 of constitution; we are urging government to expedite harmonization of laws to the constitution so that we can take advantage of sustainable
development goals’’ said Nyama.
Majority of Zimbabweans are still yet to understand much of new constitution that still faces realigning of the over 400 laws.

Part of Chinhoyi residents who decried poor service delivery.. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Part of Chinhoyi residents who decried poor service delivery.. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Hurungwe Arts Festival to advocate for accident free society

Filed under: Arts — Nhaudzenyu @ 1:52 pm

By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI- Hurungwe Arts Festival’s second edition due tomorrow will advocate for an accident free society strengthening the arts industry through, music, theater, poetry in Mashonaland West here.

The festival a brainchild of Hurungwe based Baptism of Fire, BOF, had its first edition in November last year.

This year theme ‘’Accelerated Creativity in Art will only be done on 24 July 2015 due to poor funding after major potential funder did not meet the pledge.

Hurungwe Arts Festival had capacity crowd last  year in Karoi

Hurungwe Arts Festival had capacity crowd last year in Karoi

Joel Zilala, BOF programs manager and Hurungwe Arts Festival, HAF, coordinator confirmed that although they received overwhelming applications within Southern Africa among local drama, musical, poets, fashion design groups and exhibitors but lack of funds will see them taking the festival for a day.

HAF has partnered with Traffic Council of Zimbabwe who will sponsor school dramas, poetry that will boost advocacy on accident free society.

‘’We are grateful that Traffic Council of Zimbabwe will be part of this year festival through sponsorship on traffic matters. This will go a long way for us as we are geared for the festival’’ said Zilala.

Local schools have been drawn for the festival.

Among local traditional groups is Icon Theatre Production a traditional dance group that represented Zimbabwe during Malawi Easter Theatre festival who will battle it out with Hwange based Pezhuba Pachena cultural ensemble.
‘’We are trying to give everyone a chance as we are hosting a fashion show with zedlabel that will promote fashion and design’’ added Zilala.

Zilala added that the festival looks forward to community support that enjoyed last year edition that had Douglas Chimbetu, stand up comedians Doctor Vickella, Uncle Richie, and Nqobile Malinga and Zvido Zvevanhu ensemble among others.

Baptism of Fire director Sikumbuzo Sibanda added that the festival is aimed at revisiting some musical legends from Hurungwe.

‘’We are paying tribute to our artistic heroes who made the country proud. As Baptism of Fire, we launched Hurungwe Arts Festival so that we can remember departed music gurus from Hurungwe through art’’, Said Sibanda.

Late Jiti singer Big Tembo aka Mhosva Marasha of Bhundu Boys fame whose band was the first to tour United Kingdom, Admire Kasenga of Ngosimbi Crew, Artwell Matamba, Prince Tendai Mupfuruta of ‘’Character’’ fame, Mitchel Jambo, Elliot Magunje who acted as Madzibaba Jazzman in Paraffin drama series among others hailed from Hurungwe.

The only musical festival in Mashonaland West is occasionally hosted by Oliver Mutukudzi’s Pakare Paye Solo festival though not open to theater, fine art as well as poetry especially from remote parts of the country.

July 21, 2015

Zim miss MDGs goals over rural maternity deaths

Filed under: News — Nhaudzenyu @ 4:46 pm

By Nhau Mangirazi

HURUNGWE– The sweet voice of cheerful Ruvarashe Mafukidze at Gora homestead who celebrated her first month birthday on 1 February 2015 without a mother greets any visitor.

She has a story to tell as her mother Lydia Zunza is part of rural maternity deaths when she bled to death.

Ruvarashe curious eyes ask for her mother’s whereabouts but Mbuya Fatty Makoshore has no better words to explain to her.

Her father, Collin Mafukidze works in Harare and grandmother has to fend for her upkeep.

After lullaby, she sleeps her troubled soul slowly gulping milk prepared by Mbuya Makoshore aged 49 years.

Ruvarashe is a reminder of depressing maternal deaths statistics gripping headman Duster Dzorani village under Chief Matawu about 65 kilometers west of Karoi town in Hurungwe West.

Distressing health matter

The late Lydia’s death on New Year dampens United Nations Millennium Development Goals, (MDGs) number 4 and 5 on improving maternal health due to expire this month.

Villagers here say it is a ‘’distressing health maternal matter’’ for expecting mothers within Hurungwe’s outlaying clinics. It is a national issue affecting other provinces.

Mbuya Makoshore says, ‘’It is disheartening. This was my daughter-in-law’s first pregnancy. Living such a young soul behind was not our expectation as a family. We are heartbroken’’

She explains late Lydia arrived at Zvipani clinic, but transferred to Magunje and later Karoi referral hospital losing a lot of blood on the way. She died at Kasimure 40 kilometers on her way to Chinhoyi.

Fifty year old Dzorani admits that it is a pathetic situation for villagers here.

‘’We are facing challenges for pregnant women failing to access health facilities here. It is like signing a death warrant for expecting mothers as there is no transport to ferry them to the nearest clinic where attendance to them is inhuman by some nurses deployed here. The nurses are not friendly to attend to patients and do not value life.’’ Dzorani says.

House of death

A source who declines to be named for professional reasons admits that Karoi referral hospital covering 22 outlaying clinics was named ‘’house of death’’.

‘’Expecting mothers used to shun maternity ward as delivering a baby was like walking into house of death. Retired midwives were recalled to avert the dreadful situation. ‘’adds the source.

Nicholas Zilala, a gender activist with Baptism of Fire theater group that promotes maternal health throughout the country adds that there is need to equip clinics with human and other resources to avert unnecessary deaths of expecting mothers.

‘’Maternity fees scare expecting mothers to register at these clinics forcing them to give birth at home.’’ adds Zilala.

In Karoi town, the ministry has come under fire for failing to urgently approve employment of nurses at recently established Chikangwe maternity wing.

‘’We are facing delays from the parent health ministry as we cannot open maternity wing without qualified personnel’’ says town secretary Maxwell Kaitano.

Lillian Dodzo President for Zimbabwe Midwives Confederation says the country will miss MDG goals.

‘’Rural maternal deaths is unacceptably higher for the country as most deaths are due to critical shortage of midwives, transport among others. Midwives ratio should be one midwife attending to 175 deliveries but currently it’s twice and is unfavorable. We must improve on number of midwives in rural clinics’’ says Dodzo.

Ruvarashe Mafukidze left behind in Hurungwe pix  a

Ruvarashe Mafukidze left behind in Hurungwe on 1 January 2015. Photo By Nhau Mangirazi

Sensitive topic

She says the Government and other stakeholders must speed up retention scheme for midwives to avert sad scenario gripping the nation.

Senior health ministry officials at both Hurungwe district and Mashonaland West provincial did not comment claiming it ‘’is a sensitive topic that they cannot dare respond to’’

There was no immediate response from ministry permanent secretary Doctor Gerald Gwinji besides confirming receiving email with questions on the issue.

Former health minister in inclusive government Doctor Henry Madzorera admits that the unmet need for family planning has remained stagnant at 13 % since 1999.

Unfreeze heath positions

‘’Planning pregnancy is a major effective intervention in reducing maternal mortality. Government must accelerate training of midwives. We trained a lot of midwives yearning to come back from abroad but the conditions are not attractive at all. Health services in resettlement remain basic or non-existent. Without good health there are no prospects for economic prosperity.’’ says Madzorera.

He further explains that Government must ‘’unfreeze’’ employment in health sector without conditions or comparisons with other sectors.

Negative trend

Zimbabwe 2012 progress report compiled by health ministry and partners says touching situation in rural clinics countrywide will hamper goal 5 aimed at improving maternal health, by 75 percent reduction on maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015, to achieve universal access to reproductive health.

Negative trend on maternity mortality ratio worsened, rising to 960 per 100 000 live births in 2010-2011 compared to 612 in 2005-2006, according to the report.

‘’This translate to about 12 women dying every day from pregnancy related complications. Minimum age was 14 years; medium death was 28 years with maximum of 47 years. Four main causes of deaths in 2010/2011 were post partum hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia and malaria’’ according to the report.

Delays

However, delays on time taken to seek health care, time needed to reach health care facility and time taken to access care at the health facility remain a stumbling block.

‘’The health ministry faces lack of skilled manpower, unavailability of essential drugs, socio-cultural challenges, inaccessibility or long distances to clinics’’ adds the report.

It recommends that three delays of decision to seek health care, reach health care and access care at health facility must be reversed.

The report says there is need for adequate supplies of critical maternal, medical equipment and commodities such as blood products.

Joyous Ruvarashe will forever dream to see her mother’s face, it also remains the same for Zimbabwe health sector ahead MDGs that expired in June.

July 4, 2015

Bogus nurse aide trainer remanded in custody

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:36 pm

By Nhau Mangirazi

KAROI. A 25 year old director with Dest National International Trust, Augastine Jeke was remanded in custody when he appeared in court facing three counts.

Jeke who ran unregistered Non Government Organisation appeared before magistrate
Nyaradzo Ringisayi.

It is the state represented by Pattison Chirambwi that Jeke defrauded 27 prospecting nurse aides that he intended to train under the directorship and approval of Zimbabwe National Army
medical corps.

This occurred from 1 January 2015 to 6 May 2015 in Karoi town. He faces charges under section 136 (a) as defined in Criminal Law and Codification Act when he misrepresented to the 27
accused with the intention to deceive them of their monies. They had paid $1852.00 for registering to be trained and nothing was recovered.The second count is contravening Private Voluntary Organisation Act 17.05 when he operated unregistered  NGO thereby contravening the said act.

Jeke who looked dejected in the parked courtroom where his students were in the gallery faces the third count of Defence Act chapter 11.02 of falsifying to be member of the force by representing and obtaining a medical certificate issued in terms of Military Forces
or obtain such medical certificate.

The State opposed bail citing his safety as those he duped are baying for his bloody. “Furthermore, the State is opposing bail as he may interfere with witnesses. Since his
identical brother is out, it will be a challenge on mistaken identity.

The state is opposing bail as more witnesses are still coming and there is overwhelming evidence against accused that he may abscond”, Chirambwi told the court.

Magistrate Ringisayi remanded him in custody up to 10July 2015.

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