In Zimbabwe, the community of Chirasauta has local health care access for the first time, with the opening of the Zephania and Mildrate Matanga Medical Centre. The clinic is the culmination of 15 years of work by Dr. Zephania Matanga and Mrs. Mildrate Zatanga with the support of MCIC, Rotary Club of Winnipeg and the Canadian Multicultural Disability Centre.
Dr. Matanga was born in Chirasauta, and contracted measles at the age of 5. Measles and polio were widespread at the time, and without access to health care many children did not survive. Dr. Matanga was fortunate to survive the disease but became visually impaired for life as a result of his bout with measles.
Years later, Dr. Matanga returned to the village to attend his mother’s funeral and found that health care access was still extremely difficult for the community. Chirasauta is separated from the nearest clinic by 27km of unreliable roads. The journey must be made on foot, or with animal-drawn carts as makeshift ambulances.
With the support of the community, Dr. Matanga sought support for the clinic project in Canada. After 15 years of hard work, the Zephania and Mildrate Matanga Medical Centre accepted its first patients on July 22!