Nurse tackles gender gap in healthcare

Nurse tackles gender gap in healthcareGauteng Health Department officials will receive new office space, thanks to money budgeted for new premises following a fire that gutted their offices last year.

Ikageng has seven general practitioners, all of whom are men, but Sister Vuiswa Leseka has opened a private clinic in the North West township and aims to challenge the gender gap in healthcare.

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Ikageng’s Unjani Private Clinic was opened in June 2018. Sister Leseka the first nurse to open and head up a private healthcare centre in Ikageng, was inspired to start her clinic after hearing about long queues outside the four clinics in the township, which serves more than 150 000 residents.

“I used to work at a hospital in Gauteng, and would come across people from Potchefstroom, who complained about long queues at clinics. I saw a need to do something, so when the opportunity came to start this clinic, I took it,” said Sister Leseka.

Ikageng residents are pleased with the clinic because it gives them an option for affordable private care. Sarah Modise, who has queued all day with her 76-year-old grandmother at public clinics for medication, said the new clinic was a great help.

Affordable

“I would normally spend five to six hours at the clinic with my grandmother, meaning I have to skip work, so I’m delighted there’s now a private clinic that’s very affordable, I don’t have to queue anymore,” she said.

Sister Leseka said being alone nurse without a doctor has been a challenge because patients are used to seeing medical centres headed by doctors. “People normally ask where the doctor is, but before a patient sees a doctor, they first have to go through the nurse,” she explained.

Sister Leseka said her main objectives are to assist the elderly, empower the community, especially young girls, and do her bit for job creation.

“I want to make sure the elderly receive proper care, and I also want to expand my clinic, create jobs for at least three more breadwinners, and empower girls in our community so they can see that it’s possible to reach your goals,” she said.