By Petru Viljoen
Friday, July 21, saw the first Open Day hosted by the Glory Hill Clinic in Graskop. Representatives of the Department of Health (DoH), Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA), Thaba Chweu Graskop Unit, Glory Hill Clinic, Graskop Home-based Care and Hlokomela, a non-government organisation, were in attendance. The Open Day served as a platform where the DoH and the community came together to discuss the strengths and challenges of Glory Hill Clinic.
The DoH asked all clinics in Thaba Chweu to organise an awareness day once a year to introduce the various services available to the community. The event was funded by the DoH and donations were received from the Glory Hill community. The community was made aware of their rights, correct channels of complaint were identified and people were urged to take personal responsibility regarding their health.
The clinic grounds were filled with tents where people could have tests and counselling regarding HIV/Aids and other medical needs. A general practitioner, qualified nursing sisters, a clinical psychologist and a dentist were invited to attend the Open Day.
The NGO, Hlokomela, partners with the DoH. Hlokomela operates in Mpumalanga and Limpopo and is based in Hoedspruit. Eugenia Modise, the spokesperson for Hlokomela, said there is still much resistance against HIV/Aids.
Sister Kate Boyd, Acting Operations Manager of Glory Hill Clinic said the clinic is understaffed due to space constraints. “The clinic is also too small to host many of the programmes. Alternative premises have been identified but plans for development are tentative. Funding still has to be raised and urgent medical care outside clinic hours is problematic.”
“We hope to make all clinics operational seven days a week. The major health issues in the area are HIV, TB, diabetes, hypertension and pneumonia.” Mrs Sarah Dibakoane, the Acting Manager of Clinics in Thaba Chweu, stated.
“The day was a success and everything went smoothly.” Mrs Virginia Pietersen, Chairperson of Glory Hill Clinic, said.
From left to right: Mr NB Ndlovu—Programme Director, Mr S. L. NNyalungu, Mrs Sarah Dibokoane—Acting Primary Health Care Manager