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Eskom brings basic healthcare closer to learners
Friday, 17 November 2017:
 

The Eskom Development Foundation, as part of its national corporate social investment (CSI) health programme implemented the Bophelong Mobile Health Clinic programme at Rietrivier Primary School in Ritchie, Northern Cape yesterday. 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 within the province. 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 healthcare services to communities where Eskom operates. They provide dental and eye-care services, as well as general health check-ups. These buses have been operating in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal Free State and Limpopo giving medical assistance to communities for whom clinics and hospitals are too far. As the name “Bophelong” suggests, the mobile health units are nothing short of being a “place of life” for many. Over 432 locations have been visited to date benefiting more than 35 000 learners, with 1 000 pairs of spectacles having been dispensed free of charge to the recipients where required. The Foundation aims to reach another 140 000 learners over the next four years, and this will be made possible through the successful partnership with both the Department of Health and the Department of Basic Education.
 

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 booth, 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. Issued by: Eskom Media Desk Tel: +27 11 800 3304/3343/3378 Fax: 086 664 7699 Email: mediadesk@eskom.co.za
 

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 Operating Unit, General Manager, Klaas Gouws.
 
Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi shared the same sentiments and stated that: “We are happy and proud to be able to launch the Bophelong Mobile Health Clinic in Ritchie, Northern Cape. The two minibuses will provide healthcare services within the community and enable us to further live our Value of Sinobuntu (‘We Care’).
 
“Our partnership with both the provincial Department of Health and the Department of Basic Education is yielding positive results,” concluded Ramonotsi.
 
ENDS