About 46 000 people may call Soweto’s Braamfischerville community home but the area still lacks a health facility, leading residents to ask for mobile clinics.
Springing up 15 years ago, Braamfischerville now has shops and schools but lacks a health facility, forcing residents to travel by taxi to clinics in Dobsonville or Roodepoort up to six kilometres away.
Residents unable to pay the taxi fare face long walks.
Aphiwe Kotta is the mother of a young child, which means she makes frequent visits to local clinics to ensure her daughter is fully immunised.
“Every time I have to take my child to clinic it becomes a worst thing in my life as I have to think of the distance I will be walking,” Kotta told OurHealth.“It is worse when it is raining and I do not have money for taxi.”
Bad weather and a lack of taxi fare means that Kotta’s baby girl risks getting her vaccinations late or not at all, she adds.
Pensioners forced to hire private transport
Phindile Makgapa’s 11-year-old son suffers from eye problems and often has to visit Krugersdorp‘s Leratong Hospital about 12 kms away. Follow up appoints are conducted at Dobsonville’s Itireleng Community Health Clinic.
Makgapa says she can spend up to R80 a month on transport just to travel to his appointments.
Agnes Mphuthi, 72, says she has to hire a car to get to the Dobsonville clinic.
“We have been here for 15 years now but until now we do not have a clinic,” Mphuthi said. “It could be better if the government sent us a mobile clinic.”
Hiring transport for such a visit can cost up to R100 per trip, according to Teresa Ndaba, who like Mphuthi must hire transport to accommodate painful spinal arthritis that makes it difficult for her to walk long distances.
Braamfischerville’s Ward 44 Councillor George Lekgetho says he hopes that residents’ health needs will be taken into consideration by government as the area continues to grow. Until then, he vowed to try to organise mobile clinics especially for the area’s children and senior citizens.