On 9 March, after two years of planning and preparation, we were thrilled to launch our brand new Nursing Surgery unit at our Enkululekweni Wellness Centre in Khayelitsha.
The brand new facility delivers affordable, quality healthcare services to members of the public and helps to alleviate the pressure that clinics and day hospitals in the surrounding area face on a daily basis.
Designed and developed by the Cipla Foundation, the unit is part of the Sha’p Left initiative, which is supported by the Western Cape Department of Health.
Sha’p Left stores are typically individually owned – Ikamva Labantu is the first NGO to purchase such a unit as a sustainable source of income for the organisation, whilst offering an affordable healthcare service to the community.
Our Director, Ananda Nel, says: ‘This project and partnership with the Cipla Foundation has been two years in the making. Today is a dream come true.’
The secure, custom-made unit is fully equipped with storage space, a radio and air conditioning. The unit includes a nurse’s surgery, a reception area and a medical spaza shop, where the public can access over-the-counter medications and personal healthcare products. The medical spaza shop will be rolled out as a second phase of the project.
“This has been a special journey,” says David Grier, Managing Trustee of the Cipla Foundation SA. “No NGO, no corporate, no individual and no government can solve a country’s problems on their own. The most important person in the contingent is the patient; it’s about getting the best possible service to the patient at the end.”
We have employed a full-time Clinical Nurse Practitioner, Nobahle Madolo, who will provide primary healthcare services and dispense medication to patients at the facility, as well as a receptionist to manage the facility.
The Nursing Surgery is an affordable alternative for members of the public who will be able to access the services from R20 – R200, including prescription medication. In comparison, a doctor’s visit in Khayelitsha can cost up to R350, excluding medication costs. Patients may also make appointments, thus shortening the time that they would normally spend waiting at a clinic.
Any profit from the project will cover the overheads thereof and the rest will be put back into our Health Services, which support our three primary programmes: Early Childhood Development, Child and Youth Enrichment and Seniors.
The unit was funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. “Thanks to our funders, we were able to make this project a reality,” says Founder and Honorary President of Ikamva Labantu, Helen Lieberman. “This is something that the community deserves. We are very under-resourced in our township communities; this is a tiny drop in a community but we hope to be able expand on this so as to continue reaching more people. Healthy people make a healthy nation.”
Ikamva Labantu’s Aromatherapist, Lulama Sikweza, who lost her sight to German measles at the age of six is excited about the launch of our very own nursing surgery unit. She will no longer have to depends on others to accompany her to health institutions.
“This is not only about the about the beauty of the structure to me which everybody is talking about. For the first time I’ll have privacy, I will be able to do things on my own with the nurse without a third person,” says Lulu.
Available services at the surgery include family planning, women’s health, HIV tests, wound care, check-ups and more.