Battle to get village clinic

Residents at an East London village have pleaded with the Eastern Cape department of health to provide them with a mobile clinic as they have to walk for 6km to the nearest health facility.

Community members of Kuni 1 village near Needs Camp feel as if they live in a forgotten village because they get minimal services from government.

HARD TO REACH: The closest clinic to the villagers of Kuni 1 near Needs Camp is Qhurhu Clinic which is 6km away. Picture: RANDELL RUSKRUGE

Nokhuselo Swapi, the village committee chairwoman, said they were trying their best to get a clinic in the village.

“We used to have a mobile clinic that came here four days a month but they would only help 35 people a day,” she said.

The community leader said the mobile clinic used to benefit their village and nearby villages like Kuni 2, Thembisa and Gatyeni.

Another villager, Noluthando Tafeni said they knew that building them a clinic of their own was not going to happen overnight.

“We are just desperate. We need help in this village. We would like a mobile clinic dedicated to us in the meantime while we wait for the government to build us a clinic,” she said.

Tafeni said those who suffered the most were elderly people on chronic medication, mothers with children who need immunisations and those who are wheelchair bound.

“The closest clinic, Qhurhu Clinic, is in another village 6km away.

“Besides the issue of the distance, walking to the clinic is dangerous because one has to walk through a dense area of bush and safety is then a problem,” said Tafeni.

Villager Gwebile Didiza said they had been asking for a clinic in the area since 1997.

Provincial health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said they were aware of the villagers’ plight.

He said they had always provided mobile clinic services to the area until the mobile clinic responsible for Kuni went in for repairs.

The provincial health department had requested that the human settlements department build a new clinic in Kuni village.

However, they were told that there were no planned new clinics in the pipeline, Kupelo said.



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