Simonè Louw is 23 years old. She lives at the Kuiperskraal Farm, a rural community outside of Durbanville in Cape Town. Like many other residents in her community, Simone looks forward to the monthly visit from the Durbanville Community Day Centre (CDC) nurses.
When the nurses arrive in the farming community, they are warmly welcomed; and residents bring their loved ones for health check-ups immediately.
“This service really helps us. I visit the local clinic when I can, but I appreciate that the nurses visit to provide check-ups for children and other people here. My daughter has received all of her immunisations. By using this service, I can prioritise my child’s health. It’s important that we put our children’s health first and ensure that they get all of their injections on time.”
Henrietta Gertse joined residents at the mobile clinic to access health care. She brought her 18-month-old son, Misokuhle, for a check-up and vaccination. Little Misokuhle and relative Marilynn Adams, aged seven, brought along their Road to Health booklets to keep their vaccinations and other vital information up to date.
These booklets are free and given to mothers when their children are born. It keeps track of your children’s needs, immunisations, and development, and also contains information on when to seek urgent medical care for your child. Henrietta uses this book to identify when her baby needs his next immunisation. She says travelling from the farm to the local clinic can be challenging, which is why the community-oriented care by the mobile clinic helps her to take care of her family.
Grateful community lauds services provided
“We really appreciate the nurses because they visit us and bring the clinic to us. Travelling to the clinic can be difficult and expensive for many of us on the farm. The nurses ensure that our children and families are taken care of.”
The mobile clinic is staffed by at least four nurses and a driver who visits more than 50 farming communities every month. The team provides much-needed health care to residents which includes family planning, STI counselling and testing, chronic patient care, child immunisations, TB screening, contact tracing and general health screening.
These nurses are passionate about rural health
Sister Linda Greeff has been visiting rural health communities for more than 20 years and is passionate about mobile healthcare.
Nurse Tamlin Sibole’s journey in rural health started this year. She shares her excitement to join the team and hopes to make connections with rural communities to improve healthcare.
Through partnerships, the team is also able to bring Covid-19 vaccinations to rural community members who are unable to travel to the local clinic. Greeff says they want to provide the full package of care as far as possible.
“The mobile health team aims to meet people where they are and to provide the services that they need.” The outreach team starts their day at 7am by travelling to local farms. The teams stay in each community until every resident has been seen by a nurse.
Western Cape government health encourages all communities to take charge of their health by visiting mobile or local clinics. Ensure that your child’s immunisations are up to date to protect their health. Remember to take your chronic medication as prescribed and take care of your general and mental health.
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