Tendai Rupapa in CHIWESHE
CHIWESHE villagers are set to enjoy a new lease of life following the establishment of a health post offering outpatient, maternal and child health services by First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa.
Named after the First Lady’s late mother, Maria Theresa, the facility could not have come at any better time as villagers narrated harrowing tales of how they lost their loved ones before reaching Rosa Hospital.
Plans are afoot to build a waiting shelter for expectant mothers, amid reports that some women were giving birth in forests while on their way to the hospital.
Others, the villagers narrated, lost their lives after developing complications while giving birth at home.
It is the construction of the health post which torched wild celebrations as villagers marvelled at the dawn of a new era.
The official opening ceremony will be held soon, once a waiting shelter for expecting mothers has been built, but people are already accessing services.
Amai Mnangagwa built the facility from her personal savings.
On Saturday, she took along her partners — ZimbabWEcare from United States of America where she sourced some of the equipment, to see for themselves what she had done and to see how then can further assist her.
An excited Gogo Edeline Madzivanzira (71) said she was at a loss for words following the intervention by the First Lady, who is the country’s health ambassador.
“We thank our mother,” she said. “Yes, she is the mother of the nation, but we say she is our child and we are lost for words with what she did. We would travel long distances to health facilities. Some would give birth on the way. Today, we heard her saying she intends to build a waiting shelter for women and for that we are grateful.”
It is the bringing of health services to their doorstep that has charmed villagers like Gogo Rosca Chiwanza who quipped: “I want to thank her for building this facility. We were struggling to cover long distances to Rosa Hospital, but today we now have a health facility on our doorstep.
“Amai has promised to build us a mother’s shelter for use by expecting mothers. We are grateful that we now have a clinic close to us because this will also encourage pregnant women to visit the facility more regularly for checks to avoid complications.”
Grace Madzivara (61) weighed in to express her gratitude.
“The mother of the nation is our daughter, but she has carried the whole nation — including us here in Chiweshe,” she said. “Today she has built us a health facility. Our children would give birth on the way, but now things will improve.
“She is also building a shelter where our children will stay with their pregnancies while being monitored by health experts. She has uplifted the whole country and as a community we are so excited.”
The happiness was not confined to women, men too were elated and described the First Lady as a true blessing to the nation.
Said Mr Major Mairos Chaitezvi: “I am thankful for what Amai Mnangagwa has done here. People had challenges travelling to Rosa Hospital. People would die on the way while some would give birth on the way.
“This health post that has been built is not for today alone, but for generations to come. This is a great blessing in our lives. Her parents are late, but she still remembered where she came from. May God grant her more.”
Mr Eric Rose, who co-founded ZimbabWEcare with his wife Brandi, said he had a sound working relationship with the First Lady and her Angel of Hope Foundation dating back to 2018.
“We look forward to coming back to this wonderful building to help with supplies, to help with whatever is needed in whatever way we can,” he said. “The First Lady used funds from her personal savings to build this health post and as ZimbabWEcare we have come to see where we can chip in and assist. We appreciate what is being done by Amai Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe, the hope she brings here and for her willingness and openness to invite us here to come and help.
“We have been coming to Zimbabwe since 2018 and we partnered Angel of Hope because we appreciate what the First Lady is doing, empowering and developing marginalised communities. Our focus as ZimbabWEcare has always been on remote areas.
“We love being humanitarian, we love bringing our physicians, our nurses and partnering with Angel of Hope, partnering with local providers to help provide care for those in need. We once brought several doctors who moved around with the First Lady offering free health services to marginalised communities like Kanyemba, Binga and Mola.”
Mr Rose said he founded ZimbabWEcare back in 2015 with some friends and family.
It is a volunteer organisation that helps those in need.
In her remarks, the First Lady thanked ZimbabWEcare for the medical commodities they brought to the clinic.
She also implored members of the community to look after the health facility and plant trees there since the environments were bare.
“When they came here in 2018 we went with them to Kanyemba that is where we started with them before moving to other areas,” said the First Lady. “They saw a lot that happens in our daily living and they grew the interest of continuing working with the Angel of Hope Foundation and today they have come to see what I have done for you people where I was born.
“When a child is born and forgets where she came from, it’s something else and it’s bad. But in my case I have come back to where I was born. My parents are dead, but that did not stop me from coming back here. You are all my parents, my brothers and sisters.
“This clinic is yours and you should look after it, keep it clean and make sure that everybody comes here to sweep, clean, cut grass and grow trees so that we cover the bare area around us.
“I have done my part and the clinic is yours. Today is not the official opening of this clinic, but I have brought my partners, my friends who are working with Angel of Hope Foundation.”
Amai Mnangagwa left smiles on people’s faces after donating various types of clothing and bags to the community, while children were given school stationery, school satchels and toys.
Schools also received sports kits and match balls. The Chiweshe project is not the only health project the First Lady has undertaken as she has built a waiting shelter for pregnant mothers in Kanyemba.
She also has mobilised resources for hospitals and clinics throughout the country and led from the front in raising awareness on Covid-19 countrywide.