Mobile clinics for community in poor area

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Residents of KwaHlabisa in northern KwaZulu-Natal pay R60 for taxi fare to travel to KwaHlabisa Hospital, which is their nearest healthcare facility.

Not only do they have to dig deep into their pockets, they must wake up very early in the morning to be at the front of the queue to avoid the disappointment of being turned away.

Pregnant women face the risk of giving birth to unhealthy babies because access to maternal care is limited, as the local clinic caters for thousands of patients with a single doctor who comes once or twice a week.

Now all this might be a thing of the past for the community of KwaHlabisa.

The provincial Department of Health plans to eliminate overcrowding at its clinics and hospitals by making available mobile clinics across the communities.

Mandla Nkosi, a resident of Machibini, said KwaHlabisa Hospital, the only hospital in the area, serves about seven wards and that a mobile clinic would make a lot of difference to the community's access to primary healthcare.

He said pregnant mothers would receive maternal care, while children under the age of 14 would get better health- care.

The mobile clinics would also treat patients for sexually transmitted diseases, oral health and other primary healthcare needs.

Launching the handing over of the 50 mobile clinics at Wentworth Hospital in Durban yesterday, the MEC for health, Peggy Nkonyeni, said the clinics, worth R8 million, were in addition to the 75 that were handed over in May last year.