A major investment in the health-care infrastructure by Kumba Iron Ore, Anglo American’s iron ore business unit, over the past three years, will see to it that mobile clinics take healthcare to the communities around Postmasburg in the Northern Cape. before the investment, the community members had to travel 30 kilometres or more – often on foot – to get primary health care.
This newly-upgraded Postmasburg medical complex which boasts a high-tech trauma care unit, is able to accommodate and stabilise patients before they are moved to more advanced medical facilities.
The clinic is classified as an “ideal facility” by the department of health, and provides a range of community health services, including baby immunisations, family planning, and chronic treatment such as diabetic hypertension, cardiac, ARVs and a TB programme. In 2017, 3,500 people visited the primary healthcare clinic, with more than 100 people treated in the trauma unit.
The upgraded hospital has six consulting rooms, a pharmacy, a reception area and a medication storage area. Doctors are housed in living units on the premises, which means four doctors are on duty, where it previously only had one or two doctors at any given time. The next step in the project is to upgrade the paediatric ward, the theatre and the casualty section.
Keaobaka Matilo of Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela Mine says the new medical facility has made a significant difference to the lives and well-being of local communities. “It was critical for us to provide all necessary services in one central place. The project has not only brought huge relief to the people in the villages around Postmasburg, but also created jobs for nurses and drivers for the mobile clinics.”
The mine has invested over R40 million in this project to date and has a long-standing collaborative partnership with the Department of Health in the Northern Cape to address all aspects of community healthcare.
“We realised there are many social problems in the community, we decided to partner with two NGOs to establish a trauma and drug abuse centre, and to provide counselling and support at the centre,” says Matilo.