23 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Mashambanzou Extends Support to Underpriviledged

AT least 80 vulnerable children and needy elderly people are receiving health care, food and material support at Mashambanzou Care Trust (MCT) in Harare's Waterfalls suburb.

Founded in 1989 by Sister Noreen Nolan, the Trust also offers support to people infected and affected by HIV and Aids to enable them to live healthy and productive lives.

The MCT has since established care units for patients in Waterfalls and Nenyere Day Centre for orphans and vulnerable children in Mbare.

MCT outreach nurse, Vongai Mushunga said the Trust targeted children and the elderly that are fairing poorly, usually in the high-density suburbs.

The Trust has employed outreach nurses who go out to identify those in need of assistance.

"We target people from high-density areas like Mbare, Epworth, Mabvuku and Dzivarasekwa, among others," said Mushunga. "After we identify those that need help, we bring them to the Care Unit for observation and assistance."

Patients are admitted and treated at the care unit for free.

Nurse aide, Rosewittah Teedzai, said besides medical attention, the care unit also offered counselling services.

"When a patient is admitted here we treat them and we also offer spiritual support and counselling," she said. "We aim to make every patient feel loved. The care unit comfortably accommodates up to 40 patients whose daily needs like bathing and feeding are attended to by trained nurse aides."

Nenyere Day Care admits an average of 60 children per year, most of whom are between four and six years old. The Trust also looks after 26 sick adults at its Waterfalls premises.

The MCT relies on donations and recently signed a three-year funding agreement with Sweden of about US$860 000. The Swedish government has been in partnership with the Trust for the past 13 years.

Swedish Ambassador, Lars Ronnas called upon Zimbabweans to continue working together in the fight against HIV and Aids.

"Our other efforts in the fight against HIV and Aids have included contributions to the national pooled funding mechanism. We now continue our support to the Health Transition Fund," he said.

MCT chairman, Benedict Chikwanha said the Swedish government was a very important all-weather friend to the Trust.

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