The Summerset Project: Bringing modern healthcare to a deserving community.

What remains of the 1962 tin room clinic is now being used as a kitchen/cooking place for women waiting to give birth.

Project overview.

Project Summerset Community Health Care Center is the hope and lifeline for the villagers of Summerset ward in Gokwe South, Midlands province, Zimbabwe, who for years have had to endure the lack of medical facilities within their reach. They have shown great resilience in travelling tens of kilometers to the nearest health care center to seek what is supposed to be one of the most basic provisions and a fundamental right for modern day life. Project Summerset Community Health Care Center will change the way life is for the people of Summerset ward particularly children and the elderly.

The facility will be licensed by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and will be accredited by the Zimbabwe Health Services Board. The Ministry of Health will periodically conduct inspections to ensure quality standards are met and adhered to in line with government regulations governing private and public health institutions.

What the clinic will do.

Current Plans

  • Provide medical services to more than 10,000 people who currently have to travel up to 70 km or more to get to their nearest rural hospital.
  • Serve as a referral center for those needing specialized treatment at both the rural district hospital, 70 km away, and the general hospital, 215 km away.
  • Offer curative and preventative services for diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and malnutrition.

Future Plans

  • Provide maternity services for women who still give birth at their homes in the villages with no trained attendants.
  • Provide community-based palliative and hospice care to people who otherwise have nowhere to go or no one to take care of.

The Summerset Ward.

Summerset ward is one of the least developed of the 33 wards in the district. Nestled at the base of a plateau (the Mafungabusi plateau), it is characterized by escarpments that make the area inaccessible. 

The only road that runs through has not been serviced for decades, making communication difficult. Summerset ward has a population of about 15,000 people of which about 52% are female and 48% male. There are over 98 villages of varying households, with each household averaging about 6 family members. The villages mainly consist of an aging population with great need for primary care and chronic diseases management. 

Almost all villagers rely solely on subsistence agricultural activities where crops like cotton, sunflowers, sorghum and millet are grown with corn (maize) being the staple food. Because the region and the country as a whole is susceptible to droughts resulting from unpredictable rain patterns, the availability of water is a challenge. 

Where seasonal rivers run dry during the long winter season, and the only dam almost runs dry too, boreholes and wells are the only solution to water provision. Villagers have to dig wells, an insurmountable challenge for many who do not have the resources. 

Because of lack of clean water, especially during the dry winter months, children are the most vulnerable and they tend to drop out of school, suffer from malnutrition and hunger. In situations like these, diseases usually find their way in, and without good health care facilities, many people lose their lives.

Map of Zimbabwe. Population: 14.86 Million (2020)

“The need for a local primary care community clinic or hospital has never been so urgent, please help us live!”

-Esau

Esau's story.

Meet Esau Maganga Dlodlo, 87.

Three years ago he lay dying in his hut, unable to stand and walk from an infliction yet to be diagnosed then. His family scrambled around to raise money to take him to the nearest hospital 70 kilometers (44 miles) away. 

They sold chickens, goats and a cow, and when they finally did, he was diagnosed with advanced urethral stenosis or stricture, but it was too late to help him. So, the doctors put a suprapubic (indwelling) catheter to help drain his bladder. 

Two months later, he started feeling better, standing up and walking again after being bedridden for 5 months. Now he is back in the village living with his family. But, he has to have the catheter changed every month at a clinic or hospital to avoid infection. 

But, there is no local clinic in his community, so he must travel 70km (44 mi) one way every month to get it changed. Because of this, the family has to scramble again every month to raise transport money, or carry him on a bicycle or motorbike, or worse, risk him having a bladder infection if the catheter is not changed on time.

Moffat Moyo's heartbreaking loss.

Moffat Moyo used to walk to his corn fields to tend his corn (maize). During the summer, he got sick and the family couldn’t afford to take him to the hospital, which was too far away from their home, not to mention, expensive. 

He soon was crippled from the waist down and now he can not walk or ride his bicycle anymore. His wife, Lydia, must push him around in a wheelbarrow to get him to the corn fields and back, daily. Without a clinic or hospital within easy reach, many villagers have to travel 70 kilometers to the nearest health center. However, getting to the health center is difficult and unaffordable, which means their access to proper healthcare is nearly nonexistent. 

Moffat is appealing for a motorized wheelchair or a simple wheelchair so he can get around. Please donate so we can get him one today.

“With timely medical intervention, my husband could still be walking today. We need a clinic in our community, please, help us realize this dream.”

– Lydia Jonasi-Moyo

Your generosity is critical.

Please consider donating to the Summerset Project to ensure this community gets the medical assistance and infrastructure it so desperately needs.