Mobile health units donated

2017-11-29 06:00
From the left are Klaas Gouws (Eskom Northern Cape general mana­ger), Cecil Ramonotsi (nurse), Tshwaro Ntisang (learner) and Belang Nksuku (official of the Department of Public Enterprises in the mobile health unit).

From the left are Klaas Gouws (Eskom Northern Cape general mana­ger), Cecil Ramonotsi (nurse), Tshwaro Ntisang (learner) and Belang Nksuku (official of the Department of Public Enterprises in the mobile health unit).

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The donation of two mobile health units was welcomed by the community of Ritchie and nearby rural and remote rural areas.

The units were implemented as the Bophelong Mobile Health Clinic programme by the Eskom Development Foundation, as part of its national CSI health programme on Monday, 20 November.

Launched at Rietrivier Primary School, Ritchie, it is aimed at improving the quality of life by delivering health services to communities Eskom operates in.

Members of the community feels it is an end of their struggles as most of them either have little or no access to healthcare facilities.

Ritchie is regarded as one of the forgotten towns as they have only one small clinic, which also caters for nearby farms.

It has become the norm that the community would at times return demoralised from their clinic due to ill-treatment by the staff or shortage of medical facilities.

Community members braced the hot weather to attend the launch that was partnered by the Department of Public Enterprises.

The community will benefit from dental and eye care services, and general health check-ups at the clinics.

The minibuses have been designed by the foundation and with dental booths, equipped with all necessary material to screen, polish, extract and do fillings on teeth.

Primary health care consultation rooms are available to carry out general health check-ups, nutritional assessments, hearing assessments, gross and fine motor assessments, as well as immunisations.

A visual care booth will also assess eye sight, provide the necessary treatment and provide spectacles where necessary.

One community member, Aneline Oor (53), expressed how relieved she is as they regard this as a restoration of their dignity.

“We get embarrassed to visit our clinics because we are afraid that we might be the ones to upset the nurses.

“That is why you will see poor people opting for home remedies instead of going to the clinic,” added Oor.

Chief of Staff at the Department of Public Enterprises, Mohammad Khalid Sayed, noted how most people live in under-serviced areas far from major towns and services.

“In the long term it is the children in these communities who bear the brunt of inadequate or inaccessible health services. The solution the Eskom Development Foundation came up with was to bring healthcare services directly to these communities,” said Sayed.

Eskom Northern Cape general manager, Klaas Gouws, also expressed his hope for the clinic to meet the stark challenges faced by many of the communities they will be operating in.

“We believe the gains our healthcare system has made can be furthered by our Bophelong mobile health service.

“These preventative healthcare services will help us build healthier communities and ensure that universal access to basic healthcare services becomes a reality,” said Gouws.

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