The Eskom Development Foundation, as part of its national CSI health programme, implemented the Bophelong Mobile Health Clinic programme at Rietrivier Primary School in Ritchie, Northern Cape today. The occasion was led by the Department of Public Enterprises and attended by more than 2000 community members and learners from schools in the surrounding areas.
The two mobile health clinics will be dedicated to the learners in the area as well as other rural and remote communities. With many of them having little or no access to healthcare facilities, the mobile units will provide them with basic medical services.
The health minibuses are aimed at improving the quality of life by delivering health services to communities Eskom operates in. They provide dental and eye-care services, as well as general health check-ups and have until now been operating in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Kwazulu-Natal, giving medical assistance to communities for whom clinics and hospitals are too far.
Speaking at the event, Chief of Staff at the Department of Public Enterprises, Mohammad Khalid Sayed, lauded the work of the Bophelong Mobile Health Clinic saying: “Most of our people live in under-serviced areas far from major towns and services. In the long term it is the children in these communities who bear the brunt of inadequate or inaccessible health services. The solution the Eskom Development Foundation came up with was to bring healthcare services directly to these communities.”
Championing preventative healthcare services, the minibuses have been designed by the Foundation and encompass a dental booths, equipped with all necessary material to screen, polish, extract and do fillings on teeth, primary healthcare consultation rooms to carry out general health check-ups, nutritional assessments, hearing assessments, gross and fine motor assessments, as well as immunisations; and a visual care booth to assess their eye sight, provide the necessary treatment and even provide spectacles where necessary.
“The challenges facing many of the communities we operate in are quite stark and we believe the gains our healthcare system has made can be furthered by our Bophelong mobile health service. Reaching the most vulnerable group in far-flung communities – the children – this service provides access to facilities they might otherwise struggle to reach. These preventative healthcare services will help us build healthier communities and ensure that universal access to basic healthcare services becomes a reality,” said Eskom Northern Cape OU, General Manager, Klaas Gouws.