Wheelbarrow in place of a mobile clinic

2017-03-30 15:42
Residents pose in Tsaba Village at the place where the mobile clinic used to serve them. (Mbulelo Sisulu, GroundUp)

Residents pose in Tsaba Village at the place where the mobile clinic used to serve them. (Mbulelo Sisulu, GroundUp)

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East London - Elderly residents in Tsaba Village outside East London are struggling to access health services after the mobile clinic that used to visit them twice a month broke down, GroundUp reports.

Plans were being finalised to "resuscitate the service in the village", Eastern Cape Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said.

In the meantime, residents such as Galeleki Simayile, 84, who has problems with his legs, and Fezile Dyani, 77, a stroke victim, have to hire transport to get to the nearest clinic. It is in Jojweni village, 10km away.

Fezile pays R150 for transport from his social grant.

Totolosi Siham, 75, pays R60 for someone to take him to the clinic in a wheelbarrow. He said the queues at the clinic can be very long.

On one very hot day, Nozamile Welbert, 81, collapsed by the roadside on her way to the clinic.

"I have high blood pressure. People will die because there is no mobile clinic," she said.

Community leader Bonisile Dyani said they were happy when the mobile clinic started services in May 2016.

"We applied for the mobile clinic in 2014 after we noticed the bad situation in our village."

Getting to the Jojweni clinic meant crossing a river, which was a struggle when it flooded.

"Just imagine those people who have to hire people who are going to take them to the clinic by wheelbarrow," Dyani said.

"These old people survive on social grants, so it is very painful for them to divide the little money that they have to pay people who take them to the clinic. We ask our government to solve this problem."

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  social grants  |  healthcare

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