The Khayelitsha Health Forum (KHF) has hailed the launch of a new private clinic, saying it would play a vital role in improving people’s health and alleviate pressure on existing health facilities.
On Thursday March 9, Ikamva Labantu NGO unveiled the unit in H section, Khayelitsha.
It will offer basic health care services such as blood testing for various illnesses, treatment of children and other vital services rendered at government facilities.
Operating from a renovated shipping container, the clinic consists of a pharmacy, a waiting and a consultation room.
The clinic was launched in response to challenges experienced by patients at local clinics. It has a full time nurse and a visiting doctor, with consultation fees ranging from R20 to R200.
Ikamva Labantu director, Ananda Nel, said one of the biggest challenges in the community was accessing health care services and that government needed some external assistance to adequately provide quality medical services.
The organisation spent about R400 000 on building the facility, which she urged the community to make use of as it had been built to help them.
“We are always aiming to make a meaningful contribution to the society and we hope that this will be vital in the community.
“We have made the prices affordable so that people who are not earning that much can be able to access better health services.
“We know that people are unable to go to private doctors because of expensive fees,” she said.
Ms Nel said monies raised from the facility would be used towards its maintenance and appealed to the community to safeguard the property.
KHF chairperson Mzanywa Ndibongo said they fully supported the initiative.
He said it was disappointing for Khayelitsha not to have a private hospital.
He urged local doctors to unite and build a hospital in the area. Mr Ndibongo said a lot of Khayelitsha people had medical aid, but were forced to travel long distances to acquire the services of private hospitals.
Co-founder of Ikamva, Helen Lieberman, said she was delighted that they had finally launched the clinic, adding that she strongly believed that NGOs had a significant role to play in communities.