Vuyokazi Matanzima is an unsung hero, a strong woman and a selfless individual who volunteers at the Khayelitsha District Hospital (KDH).
Her dedication has now been recognised by the Western Cape Government Health and the Khayelitsha Hospital Board who issued a message of thanks to her for all her hard work.
The board said patients’ lives at the hospital are rich, thanks to Ms Matanzima who is also a communications chairperson of the hospital board.
The hospital said by giving generously of her time and energy to help men, women and children at the hospital, especially on weekends, she contributes immensely to the quality of people’s lives and to the entire community of the area. She spends time away from her family and friends to care for others.
Thanking her for her contribution to the hospital, Anwar Kharwa, CEO of the KDH, described Ms Matanzima as a pillar of strength to the hospital board and hospital management. “She is supporting the hospital board and hospital management with shaping
interventions to improve patient care. The hospital has a volunteer policy that she adhered to and volunteers her time,” he said.
Principal communications officer: Khayelitsha and Eastern Substructure, Western Cape Government: Health,Sithembiso Magubane, said Ms Matanzima is passionate about the rights of women and children in the Khayelitsha community.
As a teacher by profession, she has seen first-hand the impact unemployment, domestic violence, teenage pregnancies, and substance abuse has on communities, especially young women and children.
He said the hospital would like to thank her for the role she plays as a female leader in the Khayelitsha community. “Putting her passion into action, Vuyokazi is not only the communications chairperson of the Khayelitsha Hospital Board, but also works with several community-based organisations. She is an active member of the Treatment Action Campaign, Rape Crisis, Family South Africa, and South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders. She is also a proportional representation councillor for Ward 98 in Khayelitsha,” he said.
Popularly known to many as MaDlomo (her clan name), Ms Matanzima said she was honoured to volunteer on the board of the hospital. “I was a patient at the Khayelitsha Hospital in 2017 and was really impressed with the quality of care and the service I experienced. Khayelitsha Hospital really is a very good hospital and we as a community can be proud of its achievements. Another honour is that I am working with academics who knows the dynamics of Khayelitsha,” she told Vukani.
She said she is also working hard to change the discrimination people living with HIV face from their communities.
She also wants to change people’s perceptions of hospitals. “I want people from all walks of life to equip themselves with knowledge about HIV and to empower themselves by going for regular health screenings and continuing with their treatment. People should not just criticise for the sake of criticising. Hospitals are under immense pressure. Remember our society has been contaminated with substance abuse and other ills. That is a problem we are facing,” she said.
Talking about the KDH, she said currently the hospital’s services are under pressure, particularly the emergency centre. “Especially over weekends, we have a high volume of patients in the emergency centre, which is often caused
by alcohol abuse and interpersonal violence and can lead to long
waiting times for other patients. We, as a community, can help to reduce the pressure on the hospital by using the services available at our local clinics,” sais Ms Matanzima. She urged everyone to contribute to improving the lives of others. The hospital said residents and NPOs interested in volunteering can call the secretariat of the board, Ms A Gonya at 021 360 4520.