Nurses on wheels bring healthcare to rural doorsteps | Western Cape Government


Nurses on wheels bring healthcare to rural doorsteps

31 January 2023

Simonè Louw is 23 years old. She lives at the Kuiperskraal Farm, a rural community outside of Durbanville. Like many other residents in her community, Simone looks forward to the monthly visit from the Durbanville Community Day Centre (CDC) nursing team. When the nurses arrive in the farming community, they are warmly welcomed; and residents bring their loved ones for healthcare 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 healthcare. 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 for their check-ups. These booklets are free and given to mothers when their children are born. It keeps tracks of your children’s needs, immunisations, and development, and also contain 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. “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 visit more than 50 farming communities every month. The team provides much-needed healthcare to residents which includes family planning, STI counselling and testing, chronic patient care, child immunisations, TB screening, and contact tracing and general health screening. 

NURSES PASSIONATE ABOUT RURAL HEALTH Sr Linda Greeff has been visiting rural health communities for more than 20 years and is passionate about mobile healthcare. “I have been doing this for over 20 years, this my passion. I love bringing healthcare to rural communities as they really need it. It’s not easy for rural residents to travel to their local clinic. This is why I am passionate about it. You really get to make a difference.” Sr 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. “Our communities rely on us to bring services to them. These services help to keep them in good health, and they’re keen to have babies vaccinated. I am looking forward to supporting the team and reaching as many people as possible through our mobile health clinic.” 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. Sr 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 stays in each community until every residents 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 you 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.