23 November 2015: Cipla Foundation, the social enterprise division of leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, Cipla SA (Cipla Medpro), in partnership with NGO LIV Village has officially launched an Owethu primary healthcare modular clinic in Cottonlands, KwaZulu-Natal.
The clinic, worth approximately R3-million, will provide access to primary healthcare treatments and information to the community of approximately 12,000.
Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla SA, says the clinic will deliver critical medical services such as HIV testing and counselling, ARV health management, respiratory screenings and dental care, to name a few. “In order to successfully roll-out this Owethu clinic in the community and to ensure that the clinic ultimately becomes self-sustainable, we have partnered with Liv Village who will be responsible for the daily running of the clinic.”
Miller explains that the Cottonlands village works on a long-term cluster foster care model, where orphaned children are placed in one of eight homes surrounding a communal play area.
“Each home has a fully trained ‘House Mother’ who is given up to six children by the Department of Social Welfare to care for.”
Tich Smith, Founder of LIV Village says that this is an exciting project as business, government and the church come together to offer the community a high quality health service.
“I believe that we as business need to stand alongside Government in order to offer these facilities to the rural communities. It is projects such as this that will greatly reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, which I truly believe is the biggest problem that we face in this nation today. It is a great privilege for us to partner with KZN Provincial Government and Cipla to offer this service. These projects also help to fulfil our aim of creating jobs for the rural communities”.
Miller explains that while access to affordable healthcare is constitutionally enshrined in South Africa, considerable inequalities in this regard still exist.
“Access barriers include vast distances and high travel costs (especially in rural areas), high out-of-pocket payments for care, long queues at public healthcare facilities and disempowered patients.”
He adds that while the state contributes about 40% of all expenditure on health, the public health sector is under pressure to deliver services to about 80% of the population. “To address this issue and provide support to the DoH and in future the NHI, Cipla Foundation developed the Owethu fully serviced modular clinics project to increase access to affordable medication and to the 80% of the population dependent on government in this regard.”
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