Visit to the Phelophepa Health Train by Health Minister Pierre Uys | Western Cape Government


Visit to the Phelophepa Health Train by Health Minister Pierre Uys

21 March 2005
Western Cape Health Services have once again joined forces with the Transnet Foundation to bring the Phelophepa Health Train to the province. The "`best", "cleanest" and "healthiest" train to visit the Western Cape stops over at Malmesbury for four days to provide Dental, Health, Psychology, Eyecare and medicines to the first of thousands of people during a three month trek through the province.

The Phelophepa health care train, a hybrid name derived from Sotho and Tswana idioms meaning "good, clean health" is at Malmesbury station to provide services from the 22nd of March. Provincial Health Minister, Pierre Uys, will visit the train at Malmesbury on the Tuesday, from 8 to 10am. "I believe the Phelophepa Health Care train is a brilliant concept of the Transnet Foundation and an excellent community outreach project. It has been running since 1994 and has treated nearly 800 000 patients of whom 700 000 were children (in the Western Cape alone some 125 000 have been served) - an average of some 75 000 patients every year. "

He said organisations such as the Colgate Palmolive Foundation and Roche Products which sponsor the train's dental and health clinics, was another good example of government partnerships with the private sector. The train now consists of 16 coaches of which five are clinics for Dental care, Health, Psychology, Eyecare and Medicine. The services have been extended to include mother and baby-care, blood pressure tests, diabetic screening and cancer education and includes a pharmacy. The dental clinic has six dental chairs equipped to perform the cleaning and extraction of teeth. Three of the six chairs are also fully equipped to do restoration while a special X-ray unit performs X-rays of the mouth. Pre-screening is done outside the train. The Health clinic focuses on health education while minor diseases are treated. The clinic has been expanded to include diabetic screening and cancer education and screening.

Special attention is given to mother and baby care and also eating habits. The psychology and counseling clinic conducts workshops within the communities and at schools. Marketing agents have been to all the stopover centres six weeks prior to the train's arrival to inform communities of the services which will be provided as well as arrival dates.

The train will be at Piketberg from 4 to 8 April; Elgin from 12 to 15 April; Worcester - 18 to 22 April; Robertson - 25 to 29 April; Ashton - 2 to 6 May; Swellendam - 9 to 13 May and Oudtshoorn from 16 to 20 May.

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