Mbombo visits Shawco clinic

2015-09-10 06:00
Speech therapy volunteers from SHAWCO Health with some of the young children who visited the paediatric clinic in Tambo Village. From left to right are Aqeelah Sasman, Zaahidah Samsodien, Tiffany Koer and Aalia Patel.

Speech therapy volunteers from SHAWCO Health with some of the young children who visited the paediatric clinic in Tambo Village. From left to right are Aqeelah Sasman, Zaahidah Samsodien, Tiffany Koer and Aalia Patel.

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Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo visited the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation or SHAWCO paediatric clinic in Tambo Village on Saturday, 22 August, to interact with the student volunteers who staff the unit and see the impact of their work on the local community.

SHAWCO runs the paediatric clinic at Tambo Village once a month on a Saturday to provide a range of services to the community.

These include general medicine, dietetics, occupational therapy, speech therapy and audiology to treat health problems in children and promote general health by educating care-givers and ensuring ongoing patient monitoring.

The clinic has been running successfully since 2013 when it was established on request for assistance from the community.

Tambo Village falls between catchment areas of the Department of Health which means that patients have to travel great distances to access basic health services at the nearest clinic.

The SHAWCO brings essential health care services within reach of the community and is well-attended. The Tambo Village paediatric clinic, like all SHAWCO clinics, is staffed by volunteer medical students supervised by qualified doctors who also volunteer. They are assisted by a licensed dispensing nurse.

PriyankaNaidu, President of SHAWCO Health says: “We were very proud to demonstrate the tremendous work being done by our volunteers at the Tambo Village paediatric clinic. Minister Mbombo’s wide experience with and commitment to primary health care for groups at risk meant that she could appreciate the impact of the SHAWCO paediatric clinic at Tambo Village. Her informed views and interest was inspiring for the student volunteers who staff and organise the clinic.”

SHAWCO Health is run by about 500 to 800 volunteers from the UCT Faculty of Health Sciences.

Over 3 000 people in underprivileged communities across the Western Cape receive much needed primary healthcare services at mobile clinics run by the organisation, with significant funding support from GrandWest.

These no-pay clinics often serve as the only port of call for the sick and injured who struggle to access primary health care services or preventative initiatives.

The Tambo Village paediatric clinic is a prime example of the positive and empowering impact of qualified and caring health care intervention in underserved communities. The students who man the clinic monthly must be commended on the invaluable service they provide,” says Heidi Edson, Group Socio Economic Development Manager (GrandWest)

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