First Lady leaves smiles in Mudzi as medical outreach ends Angel of Hope Foundation patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa looks at the medical equipment comprising protective clothing, walking aids, medical uniforms and patient care items sourced by her foundation from American doctors and humanitarian workers during a medical outreach she organised in Mashonaland East.

Victor Maphosa-Mashonaland East Bureau

THE curtain came down on the Mashonaland East Province free medical outreach initiated by health ambassador, First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, which saw nearly 8 000 people receiving treatment for different ailments.

Memories of the life-saving three-day programme will linger in the minds of beneficiaries for a long time. The beneficiaries were grateful to the First Lady, her Angel of Hope Foundation (AoHF) and local and international medical experts who made the outreach programme a success. 

They also thanked the mother of the nation for staying with them during the entire period. Through her AoHF, Amai Mnangagwa mobilised a team of medical professionals from the United States who worked with the local contingent to offer a number of services including dental services, eye-care, family planning, mental health, Visual inspection with acetic acid and cervicography (VIAC) as well as breast and prostate cancer screening.

Also on offer was HIV testing and counselling, doctor’s emergency rooms, outpatient department, mobile X-Ray unit and an Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI). It was a double celebration as the people did not only receive medical attention, but also went home with some goodies. Hospitals, clinics and schools in the province also received consumables.

The American team came with people from the humanitarian section and donated different types of goods to AoHF, which Amai Mnangagwa quickly handed over to the people including food hampers from AoHF.

Whenever she receives donations from well-wishers, the First Lady personally makes sure they reach the intended beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries were grouped and Dr Mnangagwa handed over food hampers to the elderly and those with disabilities.

Among the beneficiaries were women with children who received different types of toys, dolls, baby blankets, fleece blankets and wrappers.

Pregnant women were given baby preparation kits, baby blankets, wrappers and maternity wear.

Widows and youths also got their share. Besides the beneficiaries who were singled out, all wards from all the districts went home with some goodies courtesy of the mother of the nation. 

First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa and Dr Jarod Morton (who is part of the 25 doctors and humanitarian staff from the United States), look at a child who had serious burns all over her body and was being treated during the medical outreach she organised in Mashonaland East.

Amai Mnangagwa further donated materials to be used in health institutions comprising crutches, walking frames, patient care items, bed linen, blankets, towels, pyjamas, gowns, buckets, X-ray sponge, pillows and floor mats. Schools received stationery, reading books, sports kits, balls, shoes and clothes.

While interacting with patients, the First Lady came across a 17-year-old girl who is bedridden with severe burn wounds all over her body.

She could neither speak nor move her body. So dire was her condition that the First Lady, after seeing her, handed her over to doctors for immediate attention. 

The girl was taken to the hospital to be admitted after having been attended to by the medical team.

Her mother was accused of negligence by the doctors, for keeping her child at home without seeking medical attention. The mother told the First Lady that she only took her child once to the hospital and then decided to keep her at home.

However, the First Lady appealed to the girl’s mother to give doctors correct information of what caused the child to be in that condition.

“Ndabatikana saAmai asi tinoda kuti mwana abatsirike and get back to her feet. You have to be truthful and tell us what exactly happened to your daughter.

“We want to save your daughter’s life,” she said. Dr Jared Morton, who attended to her, said the girl was probably burnt about five years ago and the wounds were not treated.

He said when they examined her, they saw fresh burn wounds.

However, the mother maintained that she was not burnt, but started as small blisters that later spread.

“We cleaned her wounds and dressed them. She is really dehydrated. She has a combination of old and new burns on different parts of her body.

“I am so glad she made it while we are here, we can help her and later she could be admitted,” said Dr Morton.

Receiving the donation for hospitals and clinics, the Provincial Medical Director for Mashonaland East Dr Paul Matsvimbo thanked the First Lady, saying: “The goods we received will be distributed to hospitals and clinics around the province.”

“They will definitely go a long way in assisting the health institutions in caring for the patients. We are forever grateful to our health and childcare ambassador Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa for her kindness and love.”

Accompanying the American doctors was a 13-year-old girl Miss Chole Justice, who said she was moved by a passion of helping communities and decided to join her parents and come to Zimbabwe to assist during the free medical outreach. 

She said her passion and dream was to be in the medical field since her mother is a nurse.

“This is my first time in Zimbabwe. So I am here helping out in the pharmacy, giving out prescribed medication.

“So, I am excited. I have aspirations of joining the medical field,” she said.

Angel of Hope Foundation patron First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa hands over mealie meal, clothes, school stationery and books, baby blankets and toys among other things sourced from her United States partners through her Angel of Hope Foundation during a medical outreach she organised in Mashonaland East. Pictures: John Manzongo and Edward Zvemisha.

Sekuru Clemence Chibedura (82) from Dendera Village in Mudzi, who received some goodies from the First Lady, said the gesture had come at the right time for his family.

“As you are aware, this year we did not harvest much from our fields due to this El Nino-induced drought.

“So, this food hamper will go a long way in feeding my family and having decent meals. I did not have maize meal at home and what the First Lady has done for us today is commendable. I really thank her for saving us as a family,” he said.

Gogo Daina Kadonha (75) from Vhombozi, showered the First Lady with praises.

“I cannot fend for the family since I have a disability and it is not easy to take care of my grandchildren.

“But today I received some food hampers, among other things from our mother. I am happy and will definitely cook a balanced diet for my family today,” the elderly woman said. 

Mrs Magaret Kativhu (30) from Nyamapanda was all smiles after receiving toys and clothes for her three-year-old daughter.

“I have been given baby blankets, toys and clothes for my child. Knowing that this came from the First Lady makes me and my daughter excited. The First Lady is a mother to all.

“She is humble and so loving. Imagine she was staying with us here in Mudzi where temperatures are always high. Thank you Amai and I will forever be grateful,” she said.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution for Mashonaland East, Aplonia Munzverengwi, applauded the First Lady for the programme which she said will have a positive impact across the province, health wise.

“As a province, we want to thank the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa for mobilising a medical team composed of international and local doctors. This has changed the health of our communities especially in Mudzi, Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe and Mutoko districts.

“We are also the first province to witness the services of the First Lady’s ultra-modern mobile hospital. This is, however, not the first time that Amai has brought a medical outreach programme to our province. She once came with her Foundation’s mobile clinic, screening women for breast and cervical cancer.

Mr Eric Rose hands over medical equipment brought by his team from the United States in collaboration with Angel of Hope Foundation to Mashonaland East Provincial Medical Director Dr Paul Matsvimbo during a medical outreach organised by First Lady in the province.

“For this year, we received an overwhelming response from the communities. We witnessed a crowd of more than 10 000 and out of that, 90 percent were women. So you can see the magnitude of the response from our women in the countryside.

“Our First Lady decided to come to the far end of the province, about 20km before the Nyamapanda Border Post. The distance some of the people walk to the nearest clinic is not less than 5km, but 10km or 15km and the First Lady brought the medical team closer to the people and both men and women have been attended to,” said Minister Munzverengwi. 

Some patients were attended to by dentists and some by eye specialists.

“Others were attended to by general practitioners, others were attended to by specialists in internal organs and also cervical, breast and prostate cancer.

“So, we have benefited as a province. We have people who came from as far as Goromonzi and Marondera. We are happy as a province once again. We want to thank the First Lady that she brought health to our people,” said Minister Munzverengwi.

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