Nurses Mabu Sekhaolelo, Paulinah Mafatshe and Veronica Mogashoa founded Wellness Today Private Clinic in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria - the first black female-owned private clinic in the area.
The clinic started operating on Monday 13 January. Mabu and Paulinah will retire soon while Veronica is already on retirement.
The trio says they saw a gap in the market and decided to fill it.
“We noticed that many people were complaining about long queues at clinics as well as the time clinics close, so we wanted to give them what they wanted,” says Paulinah.
She says some mothers cannot give their children good medical care because of the issues they are faced with at their local health centres.
Also, most people end up slacking in taking their medications. “People don't want to lose their jobs because they don't have time to go to clinics, and when they do, they stand in queues for the whole day," she says.
The clinic opens at 4pm and closes at 7pm so as to cater for those who are tied up at work and unable to make it by the closing time of 4pm at public clinics.
“We're also able to accommodate appointments that fall outside our operating hours,” says Paulinah.
The services offered include child immunization, HIV testing and counselling, influenza injections, minor wound care, family planning, TB screening, malaria screening and pregnancy tests.
Paulinah says they have three doctors who are also involved at the clinic. “Our prices are affordable and start from R30 to R150,” she says.
In the past three years of planning to start the clinic there were times when things did not seem to come together but the women had to be very patient and work hard.
“We struggled so much to find premises. So, I spoke to my husband and told him about our vision and struggles. He was kind enough to give us two garages but now we are still operating from one garage and we are hoping to expand soon," she explains.
The clinic is self-funded. “We have very supportive children and we started buying one item at a time until we had enough equipment to open the clinic,” says Paulinah.
“Even though we have the required equipment for the clinic, we are still short of many items.”
Regardless, the women are positive that their new clinic is going to change lives in their community.