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Contributing to a fight against HIV and Aids

(People's Daily Online)  Yu Meng  2016-02-11 03:09


The primary clinic in the township of Daveyton (He Mengjia)
 
A Chinese consortium handed over a R25 million extension to a primary clinic in the township of Daveyton in Gauteng on the World Aids Day. The consortium, owners of mining company Gold One International is made up of Baiyin Non-Ferrous Group, the China-Africa Development Fund and Long March Capital. The company is committed to providing health services to the community surrounding its mining operation.

Daveyton East clinic is situated in the Ekurhuleni Metro of Gauteng Province, a township of 30 000 inhabitants, about 10 kilometers away from the Gold One International’s Modder East Operations with the nearest hospital 15 kilometers away.  


Primary health care services are in great demand in the previously disadvantaged areas across South Africa, a situation created by old Apartheid policies of the previous government. The National Department of Health has set itself the target of establishing primary health facilities throughout the country as part of the ‘National Development Plan’.

The facility is now equipped to provide basic healthcare services to more than 8 000 patients per month with the support staff of approximately seventy health care professionals. The current  nurse to patient ratio is 22:100, much higher than the South Africa average, achieving a decentralised, area-based and people-centred approach to health care.

According to the Department of Health, South Africa has the highest per capita HIV/AIDS infections compounded by high levels of tuberculosis (TB) amongst those that are infected. Deaths of young children up to ages of four and young women between the ages of 30 and 34  has trebled to nearly 60 000 per year, mostly due to HIV infections. HIV has also contributed to the mortality of men, particularly between the ages of 35 and 39.

The clinic has created a special unit for HIV/AIDS treatment as well as other chronic conditions such as TB and diabetes. There are two other units for acute medical care and the care for mothers and babies.  There is also a specialized facility for Women’s health services, care and counselling for mental health patients, and a dedicated youth rehabilitation programme.

Gold One International COO, Izak Marais speaking at the opening ceremony, committed the Modder East Operations to a social and labour plan  as prescribed by the South African Department of Minerals and Resources. He said, “It’s an honour to be involved in the improvement of the Daveyton East clinic which will now provide not just HIV/AIDS care, but various types of healthcare services to the members of the Daveyton and surrounding communities, where the majority of our employees reside”.

Marais added, “As a mining company I believe it’s important for us to invest in our employees and the communities within which we operate,”.

The Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mr Mondli Gungubele told People's Daily Online that, the investment made by Gold One was as much as 4% of the R600 million municipality's health care budget in 2015. "Now more low-income people can access medical resources and we thank the Chinese company, but also our fellow South Africans who work for them," said the Mayor,". "


(The story was originally published on Business Day on December, 17h, 2015.)