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Monday, 2 March 2015

Drug shortage hits epilepsy patients in Gutu

...over 200 fail to get drugs

Kennedy Murwira

A chronic shortage of the drugs phenorbartone and carbormazapin is negatively affecting epilepsy patients in Gutu district where a sizable number of people are said to have died after suffering from seizures due to a relapse caused by default, the sudden stopping of the ingestion of an approved medicinal drug.

Godfrey Dhina, the chairman of the Gutu Chapter of the Epilepsy Support Foundation of Zimbabwe said the drugs are not readily available in hospitals and clinics around the district. Dhina said when available, which is usually about once after four months, epileptic patients received supplies for only one month. Dhina said the drugs are taken once a day to reduce the occurrence of seizures.

“We now normally meet to pool our resources together to enable us to send one person to our headquarters in Harare’s Hatfield suburb  where at times the drugs are also not available. The drugs help to reduce the risk of sudden attacks and seizures,” said Dhina.

Dhina added that defaulting in the ingestion of these drugs results in sudden seizures which put epileptic patients at risk of falling into fires, water or other dangerous objects and this results in death. Dhina cited the death of an epileptic patient in Bere Village under Chief Makuvaza who suffered from a sudden seizure, fell into a shallow pool of water and drowned.

 Dhina told this reporter that there were more than 240 registered epileptic patients in Gutu District arguing that the number of unregistered patients was even higher. He said all the unregistered patients could not access the drugs since they were only available by prescription.

He appealed to non-governmental organisations and other well wishers to assist epileptic patients to establish a drug bank at Gutu Rural Hospital which serves people from all over the district.

Councillors Enerst Muzorori of ward 34 and Gabriel Mapepa of ward 37 said they were extremely worried by the situation.

"People often rush to us for assistance but we won't be in a position to help," said Mapepa.

Councillor Muzorori said he has tried to engage the hospital officials but nothing has materialized.

"This is a very serious problem and we are trying our best to have the problem solved," said Muzorori.

Epilepsy is a disease that makes people experience seizures, temporary moments of attacks, convulsions or fits. During seizures people jerk uncontrollably, become unconscious, lose memory or become confused.local


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Police assault, injure 21 Nandi Primary Pupils

By Itai Muzondo

Mapanza police base officers near Nandi Sugar Estate in Chiredzi allegedly assaulted and injured 21 Nandi Primary School pupils on Thursday over allegations of theft of sugar cane from war veterans who occupied the area under the land programme.

A Nandi resident, Norman Nyathi, told Tell Zimbabwe that war veterans who reside in the area invaded the school during learning hours with a list of pupils who were reportedly stealing sugar cane from their plantations. The pupils were escorted by the police to Mapanza police base where they were assaulted and suffered from grievous bodily harm. The children were taken to Chiredzi General Hospital where they are receiving treatment for the injuries sustained from the assault.

“It is inhuman when primary school pupils are assaulted and seriously injured by law enforcement agents. War veterans went to the school during learning hours with a list of children who were allegedly stealing sugar cane from their plantations.  These were taken under police escort to the police base where they were later assaulted and seriously injured,” said Nyathi.

Masvingo Provincial Education Director, Zedius Chitiga, said he was not aware of the incident.  He however condemned the wanton attack of school pupils and explained that he knew that anyone can enjoy sugar cane in the plantations as long as they do not carry any away.

“This is a quite worrisome situation. I am, however, surprised as I believe residents of sugar estates are allowed to enjoy anytime as long as they do not take any sugar cane away.

“I urge locals to chastise their children if they act in an unacceptable manner rather than resort to corporal punishment up to the extent that they are hospitalised,” said Chitiga.

Tell Zimbabwe could not get official comment from the police by the time of publication.

A research by the National Centre for Victims of Crime revealed that assault cases on children stand at 41% showing that it is less prevalent as compared to sexual abuse in Zimbabwe.local

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Muzenda was Mugabe's last true friend - Hungwe

Tell Reporter
The death of Vice President Simon Muzenda robbed President Mugabe of his only true friend and no one can ever replace him, former Masvingo Governor, Senator Josiah Hungwe said today (Wednesday).
Chivi-Mwenezi senator and politburo member Hungwe made the revelations when he addressed scores of people who gathered to welcome Shuvai Mahofa to office as the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs.

Josiah Hungwe
“The president will never find a true friend like Muzenda. Now Muzenda is dead only rascals are left in the party and government,” Hungwe told the gathering.
Hungwe said the revelation is a secret that he wanted to share with Zanu PF supporters before he dies.
"This is the secret that I want you to know before I pass on," said Hungwe.
 He recalled the meeting in 2002 between him (Hungwe), the late Muzenda and the President when the late VP urged  him to support Mugabe.
“The vice president prophesied about the Gomatox which first happened in 2002 and the one which recently happened in the ZANU PF where some party members planned to topple the President. He told me never to abandon the President,” added Hungwe.
“Now I urge you also never to let the President down as we did in the 2008 elections. Let’s be like Muzenda who never let the President and the party down,” Hungwe said.local

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Councillors turn down ministerial plea

By Itai Muzondo
The Masvingo City Council (MCC) has turned down a plea by the Ministry of  Local Government on behalf of local businesswoman, Mrs Gurwe,  who wanted her water reconnected despite owing the council a hefty US$11 000.
Gurwe approached ministry officials over the matter that later negotiated with the Provincial Administrator to plead with the council to get her water reconnected while she made a payment plan to clear the debt.
Councillors turned down the plea arguing that the businesswoman had undermined their authority and raised fears that if such behaviour is tolerated, more residents will likewise follow the same procedure thereby bypassing the council.
“Why did she go ahead and approach the ministry when councillors are available to serve the people. It will be in our best interests to be principled. This means that we must not necessarily act on the pretext that the issue is coming from the minister’s offices,” said councillor, Garcia Mundondo, whose sentiments were echoed by the whole council.
  Mayor ....Hubert Fidze

Councillor Against Chiteme added that some of the residents from his area, (Ward 8) had approached him seeking reconnections and Gurwe’s approach to the ministry undermined the council’s authority and painted a picture of underperforming councillors.
“This lady never approached me and it is quite surprising that we are getting the issue from the ministry as if we had failed to execute our duties,” added Chiteme.
Town Clerk, Adolf Kumbirai Gusha, pleaded with the councillors arguing that Gurwe’s actions did not constitute disrespect to the council but was a result of the fact that most residents do not know how the council system operates.
The councillors, however, stood firm saying they had no confidence in her as she made the plea dependent on what she would receive from her tenant. In their view, they said, she could come up with a payment plan which she could fail to honour.
“We cannot trust her since any payment plan she makes will be dependent on a tenant’s payment.  The council resolution on this is clear. She has to come up with half of what she owes to council before we can start talking about reconnecting her water or her payment plan,” the councillors concurred.
Meanwhile, a research by the Masvingo Residents Trust showed that the Masvingo City Council disconnected water supplies to more than 1 000 households in the period starting from the 11th of February up to date. 
Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze could not be reached for comment.local

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