Our health is at stake

2015-06-02 06:00
KenFac newly elected health committee members to tackle health issues in their area

Tiyese jeranji

KenFac newly elected health committee members to tackle health issues in their area PHOTO: Tiyese jeranji

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KenFac health committee members have vowed to continue to help residents even if it means that they do so out their own pockets.

During their annual general meeting on Thursday last week they pledged their support to the people in the community who need their help the most. They also elected new committee members and talked about their challenges.

For the past five years they have been working without funding as they claim the provincial health department wants to do away with health committees.

They say they have never received funding and they have to contribute money to keep their committee work going. They believe their community members’ state of health is at stake, so they won’t sit and relax whilst people face challenges when they go to health centres.

Keep on runningArnold van Blerk, chairperson of the KenFac health committee, says they made a promise to the people and they will honour it.

“We are passionate about helping people so we will continue to do so. We don’t have funds and each member and other residents who attend our meetings contributes R5. It’s not a lot of money that we make but it keeps us running and helps the people we want to help,” says Van Blerk.

A community member, Virginia Arendse, who attended the meeting, says the committee is really needed because the way they are treated at clinics and hospitals is dehumanizing.

“Staff members at the clinic are rude. They don’t care about patients. They are public servants so they must treat people with respect. They are paid to do that work but they have no respect for their patients. That’s not on, we can’t have health facilities working like that,” says Arendse.

Link to healthcareCommittee secretary Donovan Forbes says the committee will address the health needs and concerns of the people in its community.

“We should identify and prioritise all the health needs. Above all we must help to empower the people to exercise their rights and responsibilities in shaping their environments. Our work is to work as a link between the community service providers and the authorities,” says Forbes.

Van Blerk says the committee understands the frustrations of the people, but on the other hand residents must try and meet the health workers half way.

“What is most important is to find balance and work towards making the health of our people better,” he adds

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