New clinic to address health needs

2015-11-26 06:00
 Photo: DARSHAN RANGAICipla chairman, Dr Yusuf Hamied, MEC for Health Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Liv Village founder Tich Smith unveil the plaque for the Owethu clinic in Cottonlands.

Photo: DARSHAN RANGAICipla chairman, Dr Yusuf Hamied, MEC for Health Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Liv Village founder Tich Smith unveil the plaque for the Owethu clinic in Cottonlands.

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THE Owethu primary healthcare modular clinic in Cottanlands, KwaZulu-Natal was officially launched at the weekend.

The clinic, worth approximately R3 million, will provide access to primary healthcare treatments such as HIV testing, ARV distribution and respiratory screenings.

The clinic was launched by Cipla and Liv Village in partnership with the KZN Department of Health and has the capacity to service 3000 people a month and will be aimed at providing health care to the community around Cottonlands.

Various dignitaries including MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo were present at the launch and Cipla’s Chairman, Dr Yusuf Hamied – known as the pioneer of fixed dose combinations for the treatment of HIV/Aids.

Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla SA, says the clinic will deliver critical medical services such as HIV testing and counselling, ARV health management, respiratory screenings and dental care, to name a few.

“In order to successfully roll-out this Owethu clinic in the community and to ensure that the clinic ultimately becomes self-sustainable, we have partnered with Liv Village who will be responsible for the daily running of the clinic.”

Miller said the clinic is fully furnished with medical equipment and surgical instruments such as emergency resuscitation equipment and oxygen cylinders.

“The entire clinic runs on an electronic healthcare management system, developed by Health Solutions Africa (HSA). The system allows confidential management of patients' treatment in accordance with strict medical protocols.”

Tich Smith, founder of LIV Village, says that this is an exciting project as business, government and the church come together to offer the community a high quality health service.

“I believe that we as business need to stand alongside government in order to offer these facilities to the rural communities. It is projects such as these that will greatly reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, which I truly believe is the biggest problem that we face in this nation today. It is a great privilege for us to partner with KZN provincial government and Cipla to offer this service. These projects also help to fullfil our aim of creating jobs for the rural communities.”

Smith said that this project is vital to address the health care issues in the area.

“The health care needs are massive. Poverty stricken communities are not immune to diseases and many of them don’t have jobs so they don’t have transport to the government hospitals,” said Smith. “A lot of children have the flu and other illnesses and this will help them.”

The clinic is aimed at ensuring the well-being of the community as a whole from education to prevention.

“The fact that we have a dentist among the various services will help deal with dental care because many illnesses begin in the mouth and we are absolutely excited to have this here for the community.”

Smith said children’s treatment are free and families will pay about R20 a month for access to the clinic services and the experienced services of doctors which are available.

He said their aim was to make it affordable for every family and the estimated costs are more than R800 000, but they are confident about sustaining the clinic with the aid of government and businesses like Cipla.

Dhlomo praised the development of the clinic by Cipla in partnership with the Liv Village and said the innovative design will allow for expansion and replication for other areas.

He said government is grateful for the support by Cipla in helping in the development of health care services in the community and that such partnerships are important for government to address people’s needs.

“With the heavy burden of TB, HIV and many other diseases it’s going to come in very handy because we are saying maybe why we are not doing well in terms of treatment is because people have no access centres,” said Dhlomo. “Now as we leave this area we now can guarantee people will be able to come to this centre and access services of treatment and prevention.”

Dhlomo said government will continue to work with and partner with organisations and business like Liv and Cipla to make the lives of people better.

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