Chikuku in Bikita East, Masvingo Province, is one area that was ravaged by Cyclone Idai that left a trail of destruction with key infrastructure damaged. Prone to persistent droughts, the people face a myriad of challenges that deepen poverty and hamper access to essential services but thanks to the unity of the members of the Chikuku Development Initiative (CDI), most of the community needs are being met.
Jacob Mufunda, a Professor of Medicine at the Midlands State University and a medical practitioner with vast experience in teaching at various universities around the world and a respected academic in the medical circles who also once worked for the World Health Organization for more than 10 years before retirement, is driving the Chikuku Rural Hospital Initiative, a CDI baby that brings smiles to many natives of Bikita.
Prof Mufunda sacrifices time off his busy schedule to visit and offer medical services and treatment to patients from all walks of life on the last Saturday of every month. On these visits, Prof Mufunda carries with him a variety of medicines needed for various persons.
To buy the medicines, members of the Chikuku Development Initiative contribute membership and subscription fees for the Chikuku Community Development Foundation Trust (a registered entity with the Registrar of Deeds and Trusts), and on top of that make generous donations to augment the funds of the trust.
On his last visit on Saturday 29 August 2020 where Professor Mufunda attended to more than 200 patients from morning to evening, the CDI secured medicines like Glibenclamide, Indomethacin, Hydrochlorothiazide, Clecoxib capsules, Amlodipine, Losartan potassium, Atenonol, Diclofenac sodium, Omeprazole, Ciprofloxacin, Proxicam, Nifedipine and Metformin.
It would be foolhardy to ignore such immense contribution from people like Engineer Busai Sithole, Zvichapera Kuvenga, Benson Tamirepi, Chenai Chiketsani, Catherine Nhongo, Georgina Mufunda Chikasha, Gift Marimbire, Godfrey Marimbire, Engineer Arthur Manyanga, Leonard Turugari, Phainos Chokera, Alice Marecha, Chioniso Maradza and others who can not be all mentioned by name because of the limitation of space and time, for contributing foreign and local currency towards the purchase of the medicines and accompanying Professor Mufunda on his visits to the hospital to provide moral support.
Beneficiaries of the hospital initiative were quite impressed and prayed to the Almighty for blessings to the members of CDI but we can not name them individually in this write-up to protect patient confidentiality.
One man who is a key member of the Chikuku Development Initiative, Gift Marimbire, needs to be honoured for using his personal funds to repair boreholes at Boora Township and the other one at Geza near Chikuku Police Base.
“Villagers near Boora Township had gone for months without access to clean safe water because the borehole was broken down. When the matter was shared on the Chikuku Development Initiative WhatsApp social media platform, Mr. Gift Marimbire pooled his personal funds and got in touch with a borehole engineer from Mufari Village, Mr. Leonard Mafuhure who quickly attended to and mended the two boreholes. As we are speaking, villagers are enjoying, clean, safe water,” said Shylet Kuvenga from Ziruvi Village near Boora Township.
United kingdom based Henry Brian Maposa, a member of the CDI, upon hearing the plight of an elderly woman from Machinge Village who mistakenly torched her hut, contributed a whopping US$30 financial support and other members contributed in cash and kind for her upkeep.