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Cipla Foundation’s initiative, Sha’p Left, won the certificate of excellence award in the healthcare category at the annual 2018 Vision 2030 awards ceremony last week.

The Vision 2030 Awards creates awareness about the success stories of organisations, enterprises and individuals whose initiatives align with the government’s National Development Plan and strive to achieve the targets set therein. 

Sha’p Left is a patient-centred, population-focused, cost-aware, nurse-driven primary healthcare service. The initiative provides infrastructure, systems and support to highly-qualified Sha’p Left nurses to enable the delivery of accessible, quality, affordable care in a dignified setting. Sha’p Left facilities treat people closer to home, in their communities, and help reduce the impact of common illnesses and chronic diseases.

Herman Grobler, Cipla’s Chief Operating Officer, says winning this award highlights that Sha’p Left is actively addressing the needs within the six elements of the district–level health system, which include service delivery, workforce, information dissemination, medical products, vaccines and technologies, and improved health financing.

“It is estimated that more than 80% of South Africans have no medical aid and have no choice but to seek treatment at the government hospitals and clinics1. Sha’p Left addresses a significant challenge in the country, namely the lack of medical facilities available to South Africans due to overcrowding in public hospitals and clinics as well as the shortage of medical doctors. The presence of primary healthcare service facilities in local communities, such as the ones provided by Sha’p Left, not only increases access to quality healthcare for more South Africans, but also makes collecting medication more convenient for community members,” says Grobler.  

Sha’p Left appoints qualified clinical nurse practitioners with a dispensing license to run their own business. The nurses are provided with infrastructure in the form of mobile units to house their practices, branding to create awareness, on-board training workshops, as well as technical support in terms of an app to capture patient data. The nurses also receive ongoing medical and technical support.

To date more than 13 000 patients have been treated at Sha’p Left facilities based in Delft, Nyanga, Gugulethu, Mfuleni, Wesbank, Philippi, Samora Machel and Mitchells Plain.

Sha’p Left has also partnered with the national Department of Health to open a Centralised Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) unit in Kwa-Zulu Natal in November 2017 to further assist with the decongestion of state facilities. More than 1 500 parcels are collected from this unit every month, but it has a capacity to distribute more than 10 000 parcels.

“Sha’p Left’s sustainable and scalable model makes a tangible and measurable impact in the community, allowing more people access to quality, affordable healthcare tying back to Cipla’s ethos of “Caring for Life”. Ensuring that our initiatives improve people’s lives at both a personal and community level is our constant quest,” Grobler concludes.