Home carers will help with health

2017-11-28 06:01

A group of 30 home carers are on the streets of Eastridge as part of a pilot project aimed at bringing healthcare services closer to residents who cannot access them.

The Community-orientated Primary Care (COPC) project was introduced by the Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre (CHC) to the community in Eastridge.

Eastridge was chosen as the pilot area in the health department’s Mitchell’s Plain and Klipfontein subdistrict with all other subdistricts choosing their own pilot area.

In a bid to keep residents informed, the department, with the councillor and Arisen women carers, held a pamphlet blitz outside the court on Wednesday.

The aim of the project is to change the focus of health services – from only reacting when people become ill enough to come for care, to proactively looking at a whole community and addressing the most important challenges, together with residents and ­organisations.

This approach means promoting health and more preventative interventions at household and community level, as well as in health facilities.

The home carers are each responsible for 200 households.

Janice Jacobs, coordinator of the carers, says they have been in the area counting all the dwellings as part of the first phase of the project.

“Phase one is the mapping and that is where we counted all the erven,” says coordinator Sarah Adams.

Two weeks ago, while surveying the area, the women reported that they had to run for their lives due to shootings.

“We want to appeal to residents to open their doors to the carers as safe houses should there be shootings in the area,” says Jacobs.

Anthea Abrahams, clinical programme coordinator, says ensuring the safety of the carers is the main priority.

“These carers are passionate about what they are doing. The area has a history of gangsterism, shootings and drug abuse but they are not there for that. They are there for health needs,” she says.

The initiative will see the carers also referring residents to various services and they will look at social needs holistically.

“Primary healthcare is extremely important for every household as individuals may need it during their lifetime. In Mitchell’s Plain we have one CHC serving the greater Mitchell’s Plain which ultimately puts much pressure on the facility,” says ward 78 councillor Solomon Philander.

“As the ward councillor I am extremely positive that more people will get the opportunity to access healthcare and support. We appeal to the community to welcome the women into your home and work with them to help you. The safety of the workers is our priority. I appeal to the community of East­ridge to protect the workers as this will benefit everyone to access primary healthcare.”

This will not be a home-based initiative and officials say residents should not wait to be taken care of at home.

In the case of becoming ill or emergencies, residents should still visit their closest clinic or hospital.

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