New UNFPA Regional Director Tours Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre in Hopely

RECENTLY appointed United Nations Population Fund East and Southern Africa (UNFPA-ESA) Regional Director, Ms Lydia Zigomo Nyatsanza who is in the country on a mission visit, has applauded Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre for coming through to offer a range of healthcare services as well as life-skills training to vulnerable groups in Hopley.

By Michael Gwarisa

Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre  was born out of a 2017 partnership between the UNFPA, ILO, Lafarge Holchim Cement and the City of Harare which aims to improve sexual reproductive health (SRHR) outcomes of young people through integrating SRH, skills development and economic empowerment.

Speaking to the Media on the Sidelines of her visit to the facility, Ms Zigomo said, “The Tariro Youth Centre and One Stop Centre which also has a mobile element to it, is very important not only for curbing Gender Based Violence (GBV) but also for assisting those who actually become victims of GBV. Going beyond that, we also look at the survivors and how people move from becoming victims, to survivors. That is why providing these life skills trainings and capacity is very important.”

She also paid tribute to partners who are offering integrated services ranging from child immunization, HIV testing and counseling, GBV related services, life skills and economic empowerment services among others. Since opening its doors to the public, Tariro Youth Centre and Clinic also opened an avenue of partnerships with the City of Harare and more United Nations agencies, Civil Society Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations joining to support SRHR/HIV/SGBV work under different funding mechanisms including the HDF, Global Fund, Safe Guard Young People Programme (UNFPA) and 2Gether4SRHR (UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS and WHO.)

“I was most impressed by the health element. We sometimes minimise the impact of GBV on the health of women and girls. What is evident from the work that is being done here is that the volume of women and girls clients coming through for assistance and support is overwhelming and offering that holistic services provision for example looking children immunisation, looking at HIV counseling, testing and treatment and GBV treatment is an example of how to integrate different types of SRH services with HIV services, with normal primary healthcare but also with an element of education, behaviour change and economic empowerment. That is what makes this initiative so successful particularly in a community of over 270,000 where there not, any other services available for the community,” said Ms Zigomo.

She added that there was need to support and capacitate Tariro Clinic especially on the Human resources side as the facility was planning to expand services. Tariro Clinic Offers a full range of primary care services and has a staff compliment of 15 (2 Midwives, 3 registered general nurses, 6 nurse aides, 4 cleaners. Maternal health services provided at the clinic include Ante Natal Care (ANC) and Post Natal Care. The Clinic sees an average of 315 new ANC cases per month with an average of six per month booking before 16 weeks.

The City of Harare intends to add a maternity wing to the new Hopely clinic to enable women in Hopley to access delivery services including emergency caesarean where necessary. The second phase of construction will need approximately US$400, 000 in funding.

Meanwhile, Mr Richard Chigerwe, the Health Services Manager with the City of Harare said the volumes of clients the clinic serves per day was not commensurate with the staff compliment at the facility.

“Hopley is really one of the underserved populations in Harare, remember it was not a well-planned settlement. We are offering health services in the form of a satellite clinic here. We are offering ANC bookings, Family Planning, VIAC Services and what we are not offering are deliveries but we are offering comprehensive health services.

“One of the challenges here is the volume of people coming here for health services. Hopley has a population of 283, 000 and really I think we need a bigger facility, we need more human resources that we turn around the number of patients we see faster. We need more resources in terms of medicines but the biggest challenges is that of human resources, we need more human resources in terms of nurses and social workers so that we take care of the big population,” said Mr Chigerwe.

Of the 283, 000 people in Hopley, 65000 are aged between 10-24 years and almost 3,000 are girls out of school. It is characterized by high levels of migration, poor infrastructure, weak special services, low education, high unemployment and informality. Child marriages and teenage pregnancies are common, at 18% and 21% respectively. At least 70% of women are mothers by age 24 years.

 

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