Neglected clinic now home to deadly snakes

By Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Thohoyandou Block G clinic in Limpopo has not been maintained for several months, leading to overgrown bushes and long grass inside and outside the building.

 Residents say it also harbours dangerous snakes. 

Angry residents who live near the clinic told Scrolla.Africa that they have approached the clinic several times since last year, asking to be allowed to cut the grass for free. 

But their requests have been repeatedly turned down.

Grace Masindi, who lives close to the clinic, said residents have grown tired of complaining about the clinic’s rundown condition. 

“We live in fear of snakes coming out of that bush at the clinic, as the clinic has become their home,” said Masindi. “On several occasions, we have found huge and dangerous snakes in our yards, and we are sure that they came from those bushes at the clinic, which they never bother to cut down.”

Limpopo is home to several deadly snake species, including black mambas, cobras, boomslangs and puff adders.

Masindi is one of many residents who have been to the clinic to ask to be allowed to clean it, with no luck.

The clinic is less than five kilometres from the Thohoyandou shopping complex and is easily accessible to patients from various parts of Vhembe. However, it has had no running water for more than two months now.

“At the moment, everything is just a mess at the clinic,” said Masindi. “Apart from there being no running water, there is also a shortage of healthcare workers, and one can spend more than two hours waiting in the queue to be helped. 

“The toilets meant to be used by patients are also a mess as they are never cleaned because of the water shortage.

Samuel Mudau, who also lives near the clinic, said: “[It] does not have the staff to maintain the yard, and nothing is being done to address this situation. How can a facility like this be allowed to operate without gardeners while there are so many unemployed people? But the worrying thing is that when residents try to offer assistance, they are turned away.” 

Speaking to Scrolla.Africa outside the clinic on Thursday, Patrick Mashau, who had accompanied his younger sister there because she needed medical attention, said he was shocked at how the clinic had been neglected.

“The last time I was here was in 2021 and this clinic was very clean inside and out. But what I see here today is unacceptable. I wonder what went wrong.” 

Attempts to get comment from Neil Shikwambana, the spokesperson for the Limpopo Health Department, failed despite his acknowledgement of messages from Scrolla.Africa.

Residents will reportedly visit the facility on Friday to cut down the overgrown grass and bushes.

Pictured above: Overgrown grass outside Thohoyandou G Clinic’s front gate.

Image source: Ndivhuwo Mukwevho


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