A mobile health clinic is officially being handed over to service communities.Author: wcc-admin
Tshikululu Trust partners with Anglo American Platinum and the EC DOH to bring quality healthcare to children in the Eastern Cape
A mobile health clinic is officially being handed over today, 1 December, to service communities around the Eastern Cape. An initiative of the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Anglo American Platinum and the Tshikululu Trust, this mobile clinic will have a significant impact on the Integrated School Health Programme in the province, by improving the health of children, reducing barriers to learning and assisting them to stay in school.
This bespoke mobile clinic, which is fitted with modern equipment, will provide primary healthcare services to schools across the province, including the provision of optometry, audiology, dentistry services and inoculations.
The clinic handover is taking place in Matatiele in the Alfred Nzo District, as part of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government’s official World Aids Day Commemoration.
The theme of World Aids Day 2023 is “Let Communities Lead”. Despite efforts to end the HIV AIDS pandemic by 2030, communities are being held back in their attempts due to lack of efficient leadership. When obstacles such as funding and capacity constraints and regulatory hurdles are eased, community led organisations will be able to have a greater impact in ending this pandemic.
According to the sixth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence, Behaviour and Communications Survey, 12.7% of South Africans are living with HIV.
HIV /AIDS education in school children is crucial issue for individual health, public health, as well as communities at large, with the Department of Health now focussing its HIV prevention and treatment strategy on children.
Along with a renewed focus on empowering communities, primary health care and education targeted at children is a vital step. Not only does this empower our youth, but it also heightens preventative-health messages by reaching those in homes and communities via the learners.
The Eastern Cape Department of Health will prioritise the mobile clinic to enable clinicians to reach the most rural schools to provide learners with health screening for preventable health issues and the provision of core primary healthcare needs. This service will then be extended more broadly to communities in need during the school holidays.
“The donation comes at a time when our population’s health needs are evolving particularly in our schooling system. Those needs require a partnership that will assist in innovative models that will help respond to these needs equitably and sustainably. Mobile health clinics respond directly to that need as they provide a wide range of services to people who may not otherwise receive care, including urgent care, primary care, and preventive health support. We thank Anglo American Platinum we are looking forward to other partnerships,” says Eastern Cape MEC for Health, Nomakhosazana Meth.
“This collaborative initiative between government and the private sector is another example of how partnerships can have an enormous impact in giving back to communities and helping people, especially our youth, to thrive,” says Tracey Henry, CEO of Tshikululu Social Investments.
The Tshikululu Trust was established in 2009 as a broad-based ownership trust supporting public benefit activities. The Trust and Anglo American Platinum have spearheaded other impactful initiatives to strengthen communities around the country. These include relief initiatives related to the Covid 19 pandemic and the public unrest experienced in 2021.
“We have always maintained that partnerships and collaborations are the way to go. We are grateful to Anglo American Platinum organization coming on board and lending a helping hand. This mobile clinic will assist us a great deal in reaching as many learners as possible as we strive to improve the quality of service we offer to everyone, including the future leaders of our province,” says Meth.
“Through awareness, education, and access to medical resources, we can pave the way for a generation free from the burdens of the HIV/Aids pandemic, as well as other preventable illnesses and give our children the opportunity for a healthy and prosperous future,” Henry says.