As part of its national health programme, the Eskom Development Foundation has opened the Bophelong Mobile Health Clinic programme, bringing basic medical services to school children at Rietrivier Primary School in Ritchie, Northern Cape.

Two mobile health clinics will be dedicated to the learners in the area as well as other rural and remote communities within the province.

The mobile clinics will provide dental and eye-care services, as well as general health check-ups. Up until now they have been operating in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Limpopo.

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.”

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.

“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.

“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’),” added Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Cecil Ramonotsi.

“Our partnership with both the provincial Department of Health and the Department of Basic Education is yielding positive results,” concluded Ramonotsi.

According to a statement issued by the Foundation, 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 says it aims to reach another 140,000 learners over the next four years, and this will be made possible through a partnership with both the Department of Health and the Department of Basic Education.

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