From the Azura Benguerra Team - December 2018
In December 2018, Benguerra Island’s first health clinic opened its doors thanks to the support of the Azura Rainbow Fund. The Fund provided a total of US $65 000 for the building of a much-needed Community Clinic and Nurses’ Residence on the island to serve the local residents who have had little or no access to basic healthcare or medication.
The new clinic will play a vital role in reducing the number of child deaths, providing the local people with quick access to simple, over-the-counter medications, testing for malaria and providing the appropriate treatment, monitoring pregnancies and supporting mothers and their children after birth.
All of this is now a reality thanks to the donations made by guests of Azura Retreats and the support of the Rainbow Fund – the first registered charity of its kind in Mozambique.
Building a Haven of Health and Hope
Natucon, a local construction company, was brought in to complete the building of the clinic, which was achieved in just three months. In that short time, three buildings were completed: The Clinic, a Nurses’ Residence and an Ablution Block. Each building has its own septic tank and there is a ‘biological items’ septic tank for the Maternity Ward.
The Clinic has four rooms:
- A consultation room where paperwork is done, patients are evaluated, and prescriptions and medicines are dispensed. It has two desks (one for administration and one for dispensing medicines), two examination tables, a storage cupboard, a scale, a refrigerator for storing medicines, four chairs and three bins (two for medical waste and one for paper).
- A maternity ward with four hospital beds, one gynaecological bed, two basins, two metal trolleys and two storage cupboards.
- A storeroom, which remains locked, with plenty of shelving for storing essential items.
- A bathroom with a toilet and basin.
The Nurses’ Residence
The clinic is staffed by two nurses from the mainland, so it was essential that the clinic include proper accommodation for them. With two bedrooms, a lounge and bathroom, the nurses are very comfortable, and able to tend to the needs of the local community on a daily basis.
The Grand Opening
On 8 December 2018, the clinic was officially handed over to the Mozambican Government. It was a day full of joy and celebration with entertainment provided by the Rainbow Fund Kids Band. The Governor of Inhambane, Mr Daniel Francisco Chapo, was there to unveil the plaque and cut the ribbon, formally opening the clinic to the public.
Azura Retreats' local partner, Gabriel Cossa, made a well-received speech in which he referred to the many ways that Azura Retreats has contributed to improving the lives of the local people on Benguerra Island. Since building the first school on the island, the Azura Rainbow Fund sponsors secondary and tertiary education on the mainland for promising students. The Fund has also built teachers' residences and provided the school children with stationery and school uniforms. All of which have made a significant difference in the lives of the young people on Benguerra Island.
Serving the Local Community
Izilda Ilnias and Antonieta Jerremias, who both studied at Masinga, are the two nurses based at the clinic. The clinic is open from Monday to Friday between 07:30 to 15:30 and on Saturdays from 08:00 to 12:00, and only closes on Sundays. In the case of an emergency, the nurses are on hand to open the clinic and assist. They take turns visiting the mainland to stock up on essential items supplied by the Mozambican Government.
The following essential services are offered by the clinic:
- Free malaria testing and treatment
- Free HIV testing
- Free STD testing
- Free pregnancy testing
- Free condoms and contraceptives
- Treating minor injuries such as cuts, bruises and sprains, etc.
- Assisting with natural birth
- Providing pregnant women with prenatal vitamins and support
- Dispensing over-the-counter medications
Welcoming New Life
Since the clinic has opened, it has already welcomed 10 new bundles of joy, including one little girl who is an Azura baby!
The Azura Retreats team is proud to be a part of this milestone in Benguerra Island's history and looks forward to seeing the difference this clinic will make in the lives of the people it serves.