Rural areas get clinics

2016-08-24 06:00
STAFF MEMBERS inside one of the mobile clinics with Lebogang Motlhaping, Northern Cape MEC for Health (second from the right).  Photo: Boipelo Mere

STAFF MEMBERS inside one of the mobile clinics with Lebogang Motlhaping, Northern Cape MEC for Health (second from the right). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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SELECTED rural communities have received 11 more Batho Pele mobile health units.

The rural communities of Kagung, Gasese, Madibeng and Maphiniki in the John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) District will gain from this.

The units were handed over to the Department of Health (DoH) by Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore Sishen Mine on 11 August.

This was done in an effort to increase the general health of and render primary and secondary health care to the identified communities.

The ceremony was officiated by Lebogang Motlhaping, Northern Cape MEC for Health.

He was accompanied by Sophia Mosikatsi, district municipal mayor, local mayors, councillors, representatives of the House of Traditional leaders and Sydney Ntili, acting public affairs manager of Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore Sishen Mine.

The Batho Pele Mobile Health Units project was a joint venture between the Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore Sishen Mine and the DoH and commenced in 2011.

The memorandum of agreement was entered into in March 2011, with a long-term objective of handing over the full scope to the department, to gradually absorb the operational costs and eventually own and sustain the project.

It was initiated as a project to benefit the rural communities of the district through the provision of comprehensive healthcare service packages in mobile units.

They would visit the four mobile points on a monthly basis.

Four service delivery points were identified with about 16 636 community members from 19 villages benefitting.

The DoH revealed that a total of 107 763 patients had been seen since September and attended to in these mobile units.

“About 58% of the headcount were those who came for normal clinic services, while 15% needed a medical practitioner and 14% dental services,” indicated a statement of the department.

Areas of improvement included immunisation coverage, increased detection of childhood illnesses and increased TB detection.

Expressing his appreciation to the public-private partnership shown by the Sishen Mine in championing the project from the onset, Motlhaping applauded non-governmental organisations, churches, community-based organisations and other role-players and encouraged them to continue intensifying the fight against HIV/Aids and TB.

He said the district recorded the highest number of deaths in 2014.

“We must continue to educate our communities about the importance of using condoms as a preventative method,” he added.

With regard to the burden of maternal and child mortality in the district, he promised that it would remain a priority.

He elaborated on the research project that had been conducted in the 2014-’15 financial year to determine the reasons for the high maternal mortality rate in the district. The aim of the study was to identify the root causes of challenges in achieving low maternal mortality ratios.

According to the MEC, there had been a steady decline in maternal deaths over the past years from 167/100 000 live births (2011-’12) to 124/100 000 live births (2014-’15).

This is mainly due to a decrease in deaths related to HIV as the underlying cause, he pointed out.

Motlhaping promised that geo-technical studies and geo-thermal studies had already commenced on the identified site for the regional hospital in the district to strengthen all primary healthcare facilities in the province.

The Kimberley Hospital still serves as the tertiary hospital.

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