The  Lake Alice community in Lupane will no longer have to walk 50km to the nearest health centre following the construction of a clinic at a cost of US$400 000 provided by World Vision Zimbabwe.

The clinic was officially opened by the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Province, Ambassador Cain Mathema, who was represented by Lupane District Administrator, Mrs Enert Sithole.

The construction of the clinic commenced in 2011 and was scheduled to take three years but the completion was delayed due to a number of challenges which included the shortage of water.

A borehole was sunk to ensure that water was readily available for the construction.

The facility was operationalised as an annexe to St Paul in June 2015 and has so far conducted 190 deliveries and managed 40 home deliveries.

World Vision Zimbabwe representative, Mr Khumbulani Ndlovu said the organisation is satisfied with the project which is consistent with ZIMASSET, crafted to achieve sustainable development and access to health services, among other things.

“This clinic is also set to reduce the estimated 50km that community members were travelling to access medical care. To cap it, all expecting mothers will immensely benefit from this clinic as they will have access to it within reach, thereby reducing maternal deaths that I am reliably informed were very high. We also hope that this clinic will play a major role in the reduction of  Malaria cases that I am also informed were very high in the years 1992 and 1996,” he said.

Matabeleland North Provincial Medical Director, Dr Nyasha Masuka said the Ministry of Health and Child Care will continue to make efforts to improve access to medical services in the province.

“We are confident that this clinic will go a long way in enhancing programmes from the ministry that seek to prevent the spread of diseases,” said Dr Masuka.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of State for Matabeleland North Province, Ambassador Cain Mathema expressed confidence that the clinic will assist in reducing unnecessary deaths in the local community as well as the neighbouring districts of Bubi and Nkayi.

“In addition, the clinic should have a piped water scheme and have a vibrant horticultural project so that there is adequate food for the patients and the staff,” he said.

The clinic has a catchment area covering a population of 10 000 people within the Lake Alice community and is the 12th rural health centre in the district.