Healthcare initiative launched

2018-01-24 06:00
The Bloemfontein Station Medical Centre staff at the launch of a community pilot health initiative for children. From the left are, front: Lehulere Mophosho, Nombulelo Maqeba, Flora Motumi and Boitumelo Nthapo; back: Yolanda Qwele, Maletsatsi Tsoku, Liphaphang Hoala, Motsamai Lepele, Lehlohonolo Lethola, Dioka Mabuya, Thembeka Dumezweni, Mokoma Mokoma and Alina Mokone. Photo: Teboho Setena

The Bloemfontein Station Medical Centre staff at the launch of a community pilot health initiative for children. From the left are, front: Lehulere Mophosho, Nombulelo Maqeba, Flora Motumi and Boitumelo Nthapo; back: Yolanda Qwele, Maletsatsi Tsoku, Liphaphang Hoala, Motsamai Lepele, Lehlohonolo Lethola, Dioka Mabuya, Thembeka Dumezweni, Mokoma Mokoma and Alina Mokone. Photo: Teboho Setena

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A group of medical and health practitioners trading as a cooperative in Bloemfontein have teamed up to launch a preventative community flagship healthcare initiative for learners.

The practitioners include doctors, dentists, social workers, physicians and optometrists and operate as the Bloemfontein Station Medical Centre (BSMC).

They have partnered with the non-profit organisation, the Medical Cooperation Centre (MCC) in Bloemfontein, to launch the flagship initiative known as the School Holidays Health Programme.

Launched on 12 January in Bloemfontein, the initiative focuses mainly on the provision of preventative services to learners from less fortunate backgrounds.

The launch saw 100 learners from Gr. 1 to Gr. 12 undergoing screening processes.

Motsamai Lepele, spokesperson and a practicing dentist, says the project has been undertaken as a community social investment with the chief objective of promoting health and improving the beneficiaries’ health status, as well as their quality of life.

“As a preventive measure, this programme is to ensure the 100 children get access to medical services four times over a period of 12 months.

“We believe this would improve their health status and contribute towards quality of life. As we all know, implementing health programmes and dealing with health issues is an expensive exercise, hence we started this partnership,” says Lepele.

He says the 100 learners screened will also be educated about the importance of health.

“This is an ideal opportunity for health education and interventions aimed at addressing the many health and socio-economic factors affecting children in South Africa.

“Once educated, these children can potentially become influential sources of health information and models of healthy behaviour to their families and the broader community.

“School health services also have the potential to provide a safety net for children who do not have access to preventative health services during their pre-school years. These services are able to identify avoidable health problems that may constitute barriers to learning,” says Lepele.

He says all the children were screened and tested in four disciplines:

  • Medical: cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, HIV, BMI and hearing.
  • Optometry: visual acuity, objective refractive error, intraocular pressures and funduscopy.
  • Dental: complete oral examination.
  • Social Work: psychosocial assessment and group counseling.

“There will be after-care services to address problems and the success of this will be mostly determined by budget constraints. We believe that the concept of corporate social investment from the private sector or business can play an important role in this project,” says Lepele.

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