New Clinic Opens in Thembalethu, George
The Isisombululo Programme, the Hasso Plattner Foundation, the University of Cape Town and Western Cape Government Health are pleased to announce that the Kuyasa Clinic in Zone 9, Thembalethu has opened its doors for primary healthcare services to the community on Wednesday 15 January 2014. The Isisombululo Programme funded, planned, and managed the construction of the new clinic. With over 40 sub-projects implemented in the initial 9 years, the Isisombululo Programme has contributed dramatically to the support of HIV/Aids and TB prevention, treatment and care services for communities in the Southern Cape, Eden District.
Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha said: “Congratulations to the people of Thembalethu on this new clinic. In partnership with all the partners I am sure that the facility will provide quality health services. Every new facility means that we are bringing improved service delivery and redressing the imbalances of the past. That is true progress and development.”
Planning for the new clinic was initiated through discussions between the Isisombululo Programme, Western Cape Government Health and the George Municipality more than three years ago. It had been determined that there was a vital need for an additional health facility in Thembalethu, given that currently there is only one day hospital serving a community of more than 50 000 people. Land was identified and approval granted from the George Municipality for the construction of the facility in Thembalethu. Consultations with the local community were on-going and support from all the role-players was sought. After an extensive planning and approval process, construction of the clinic began in May of 2013. Through the active support of the Department of Public Works, the construction team made up of Semper Prima Builders and various technical professionals were able to finish the building project in just 6 months.
Community members were lined up early on Wednesday to be the first to see and utilise the new facility. Twenty-three-year-old Nosipho Mankeaya and her daughter Awake were the first clients to visit the clinic for a routine check-up. “I am extremely happy that I don’t have to wake up so early to attend the clinic. It is much closer to where I live than the other clinic”, she said.
The building was designed to be inviting and colourful so that patients feel uplifted and happy to use the health services offered at the site. The clinic is nurse-managed and is open week-days from 7:30 am to 16:30 pm. The Kuyasa Clinic construction project represents a unique partnership between funders, academia, local and provincial government, and the community of Thembalethu in order to provide a first rate health facility for a community in a previously disadvantaged area. The community of the Thembalethu is grateful to the Hasso Plattner Foundation for its funding and continued commitment to the betterment of health and social services in the Eden District. An official opening will be held later this year.