Few & far between: North West mobile clinics

The North West province is home to some of the world’s largest cattle herds near Vryburg. The province is also an important producer of both white maize and sunflowers in South Africa.

But some in the province’s farming communities in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District say irregular visits by mobile clinics force them to look elsewhere for health care.

OurHealth visited the farming area of Domnville and found that irregular mobile clinic visits are not covering the area’s vast needs for medical services.

Residents there say that mobile clinics visit farms once every two months or more. In between mobile clinic visits, some say they are forced to travel about 70 kms to Klerksdorp or Tigane if they need medical attention.

“It would be wise if, at least, the mobile clinic visited once every 15 days,” said Domnville resident Kabelo Motaung. “We are left with lots of information but it’s services we would appreciate.”

In the absence of regular mobile clinic visits, residents said they are dependent on over-the-counter medications for anything that ails them.

Some like Ratsietse Lebeko also said that without regular contact with clinicians, they were not aware of the newly introduced fixed-dose antiretroviral or the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot project taking place in their district.

“I heard of a new HIV pill but didn’t follow much about it,” Lebeko told OurHealth. “Today, I learned of the NHI from you – maybe if health officials could visit our place more often (that) would change.”

OurHealth could not get comment from the district health office as the district spokesperson Nthabiseng Sebake was on leave.

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