Phelophepa health care train on its way to Bay

2018-01-10 06:00
The Transnet Phelophepa Health Care Train is preparing to make its annual visit to the Eastern Cape, starting with Swartkops Train Station from January 22.Photo:SUPPLIED

The Transnet Phelophepa Health Care Train is preparing to make its annual visit to the Eastern Cape, starting with Swartkops Train Station from January 22.Photo:SUPPLIED

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THE Transnet Phelophepa Health Care Train, which prides itself on bringing affordable and quality primary health care to rural and poor urban towns around South Africa, will be visiting the Eastern Cape once more from January 22 to March 28.

It will be making five stops in the province, starting with Swartkops in Port Elizabeth from January 22 to February 2.

The second stop will be Burgersdorp from February 5 to February 16, followed by a visit to Mthatha from February 19 to March 2, before moving on to Dutywa from March 5 to March 16 and finally to Mount Ruth from March 19 to March 28.

Though the train initially only targeted the vulnerable groups in the communities, everyone is now welcome to visit the train to receive basic health care.

“Phelophepa works on a first-come, first-served basis where everyone from the community is welcomed and encouraged to access the services,” said Zingisa Sofayiya, project manager of the Port Elizabeth Community Development Unit.

The trains travel for 36 weeks each year, visiting a different rural community at least every two weeks.

The main objective of the Phelophepa Health Care Train is the prevention and early detection of medical conditions, as well as screening, education and making people aware of the importance of looking after their own health.

The train provides a range of services in communities where they currently do not exist and enhances existing health services provided by the government in other areas.

Services offered by the train include health education, cancer and diabetes educare and counselling and psychology.

They also boast an eye clinic and a dental clinic.

Most of the services offered by the train are free, though there is a small charge for medication and other items, such as glasses and eye drops.

“Patients need to bring along their clinic cards, as well as immunisation cards for children. If one does not have a clinic card, they will then need to bring their medication if they are on any chronic medication,” Sofayiya said.

“We encourage people to come as early as possible, starting from the first week, and bring along their lunch, as well as medication.”

The Transnet Phelophepa Health Care Train will make its first stop in the Eastern Cape on its annual visit at Swartkops Train Station from January 22 to February 2.

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