“One gets used to suffering, but does not play with health.” This is what residents of the village of Merimeni say, who travel 15 or 20 kilometers to receive hospital care in Kilimani or Namakata, in Nikoadala district, central Zambezia province.
The head of the Mermini community, Benjamin Sala, says the residents are in a tragic situation. “This is like an island, when someone gets sick we have to go to Namakata or Nicodala,” he laments.
“When we have pregnant women, it’s a very serious problem,” he adds.
The problem, according to Rigolo, had already been reported to the authorities: “In several meetings we held at the town, postal, county and county structure level, we reported this situation in writing and orally.”
The same situation prevailed in the ceramic region. In addition to the lack of basic help, there is no maternity hospital. Births take place in traditional midwives’ homes.
Some go from house to house to help women who need help with childbirth. Traditional midwife Virginia Ronda explains, “Labour is very complicated. I don’t charge any fees, after attending labour, I send them to the hospital.”
According to Ben Jemim Salé, there has already been a local initiative to build a health center in Merimini. However, he did not have the support of the authorities.
“In 2007 we had a health center. We went to buy irons and built a house to have at least an agent who could help in an emergency. [tijolos de barro]According to the information received from the health authorities,” Sala explains.
In ceramics you can’t build a job
Nicoadala District Health Director Euphemia Rafael says authorities will not build a health unit in the district because the above sites are not part of the selection criteria.
“The residents of Ceramica receive assistance in the health center in Namata, in Domila. In order to have a health center, we have to support some counters that are in the selection criteria for the construction of health centers. Ceramics are not in the standard,” the director explains.
Residents demand the construction of a health center to reduce suffering.
“At election time, they shout at us. They don’t answer us, only if it’s time for election propaganda to receive votes. The government here doesn’t notice us, and we don’t seem to be their children,” complains one of the citizens.
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