Chikore

Outpatient
Outpatient Clinic
Chikore is a 50 bed hospital in a remote area that is difficult to reach due to the disintegration of the roads. It serves a large catchment area of 44 villages some as far away as 40 km. Accessing healthcare is a huge challenge and family members arrive on foot pushing or pulling the patient in wagons or wheelbarrows. The more fortunate may have a donkey or ox cart but, very rarely, a vehicle. The distance and lack of funds are deterrents to basic care. Many patients succumb to readily treatable conditions. For example, by the time a grandmother reached the hospital, a child was dead from dehydration secondary to diarrhea. Those without money may pay for care in goods such as firewood, maize or a chicken or by service such as working on the hospital grounds or garden.
Boy Needing Wheelchair
Boy with cerebral palsy

The Head Nurse, called the Matron or Sister-in-Charge, has been without a resident doctor for 9 years. Currently a Dr. from Mt Selinda visits once a month. Cell phone service and email connections are non-existent. Therefore, the nurses manage all cases that come to the door with the skills they have, compassion and grace. The recent acquisition of a used ambulance can now provide emergency transport to Mt Selinda or Chipinge Hospitals. Medications and essential supplies are often scarce or unavailable. The staff receives a stipend of approximately $ 8 per day.

Despite these challenges, the nurses and other workers do the best they can with hope for a brighter future. The Matron says that "we keep on keeping on".

The lessons to be learned are many. Life and success are what you make it. Beyond the poverty lies everything important; the blessings of generosity, gratitude, welcoming friendship and love.