Health care anywhere

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FOURWAYS GARDENS – The Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre are using mobile health clinics to get health services to those in need in Diepsloot and Msawawa.

For the majority of South Africans, quality and affordable healthcare are out of reach.

Across the country, people living in townships suffer from limited access to healthcare services. Mobile health clinics are changing this, driving better patient access to care by visiting the areas that need it the most.“Existing resources aren’t placed where they are desperately needed,” said executive director of non-profit organisation, the Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, Dr. Jean Bassett.

“We launched our mobile clinics to help people living in Diepsloot and Msawawa to gain access to a range of healthcare services.”Key services include HIV counselling and testing, tuberculosis (TB) screening, child immunisation, general adult and paediatric care, emergency management of chronic diseases, women wellness and social services.

Fitted with two fully equipped consulting rooms, a refrigerator, and washbasin, the mobile clinic travels to Diepsloot and Msawawa seven days a week. Witkoppen launched its mobile clinics in 2011 to reduce the number of HIV-infections and to provide antiretroviral therapy treatment to HIV-positive individuals.

“We are able to reach patients who are unable to visit our main facility in Fourways,” said Bassett. “Our main aim is to provide a secure environment, where patients feel comfortable enough to seek healthcare advice.”

With an estimated 260 000 new infections annually, South Africa’s HIV epidemic is not only the largest in the world but the fastest growing. Witkoppen Clinic’s main aim is to provide quality and affordable healthcare to those living in informal settlements.

The privately run, the donor-funded organisation assists close to 10 000 patients per month.The centre provides a range of services, including HIV and TB testing, antenatal care, a mental health clinic, dentist, as well as the opportunity to consult qualified doctors, nurses, psychologists, and pharmacists.

A patient’s first visit is free.

For more information on the services they provide, visit www.witkoppen.org. Interesting facts and service updates can be found on their Facebook page @WitkoppenHealthandWelfareCentre and Twitter @Witkoppen105.

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