Actor supports children’s clinic

2015-05-26 06:00
Actor Boris Kodjoe met with Western Cape minister of health Nomafrench Mbombo on Friday.

Actor Boris Kodjoe met with Western Cape minister of health Nomafrench Mbombo on Friday.

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Boris Kodjoe is not just a pretty face who has a lot of people smiling each time he appears on their small screens.

This renowned actor, well-known for his roles in movies like Love andamp; Basketball, Brown Sugar and Madea’s Family Reunion, has the interest of people at heart as well.

Kodjoe, who is currently in Cape Town filming his new movie, has lent his support to raising awareness of spina bifida.

Spina bifida is one of the most common permanently disabling birth defects.

Back home he is also president of the Sophie’s Voice Foundation in Atlanta in the United States, which supports children with spina bifida.

The Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus South Africa (ASBAH SA) hosted him on Friday last week.

Kodjoe visited the Spinal Defects Clinic at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital to gain further insight into the spina bifida programmes that are run there. He also met provincial minister of health Nomafrench Mbombo to discuss ways to advance the cause in South Africa.

According to ASBAH SA founding member Zubeida Toefy, the aim of the association is to protect and promote the interests of all people with spina bifida, hydrocephalus and related disabilities. The association supports measures which will prevent or reduce the occurrence of disabling conditions. It gives community-based peer and educational support for parents who have children with spina bifida.

ASBAH SA also aims to empower these parents with the knowledge and resources that they need. “This is to ensure that they are able to provide their children and families with a nurturing, normal environment. At present we have community support outreach programmes in Paarl, Mitchell’s Plain and Atlantis. Further programmes are planned for Grassy Park and Khayelitsha later in the year,” says Toefy.

There are plans to implement similar initiatives in Johannesburg. “Having someone of Boris’s stature and influence lend his support to our cause, will play a great role in helping us make a tangible difference and improve the lives of people living with this disability,” she says.

Mbombo said on Friday the department of health in the Western Cape fully supported the work that was being done by ASBAH SA. “They are offering support to parents and children living with spina bifida. This also assists the work that is being done by the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Spina Bifida Clinic which operates on a weekly basis,” she said.

Mbombo added that it was incredibly humbling to witness the difference the work of such organisations made in the lives of ordinary South Africans.

“This is why the Western Cape government frequently encourages the whole-society-approach to healthcare. NGOs, civil society organisations, community leaders and the people of the Western Cape all have a role to play when it comes to delivering an essential service like health,” she said

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