occupational diseases

Anglo American on Thursday handed over a R26 million healthcare centre to residents of Rooikoppen outside Standerton in Mpumalanga.

The new Lilian Mambakazi Community Healthcare Centre gives Sakhile residents, most of whom reside in Rooikoppen, access to a full range of primary healthcare services right on their doorstep.

While the centre is bringing the much needed healthcare to a community in need, the provision of the clinic is in line with Mining Charter goals. The project forms part of Anglo American’s New Denmark colliery’s Social and Labour Plan (SLP) programme.

Chief Executive of Anglo American’s Coal South Africa business, Themba Mkhwanazi says: “Occupational health management forms the foundation of our health strategy and primary healthcare lies at the heart of government’s drive to transform South Africa. As a business that believes in sustainable partnerships for the future, we are proud to have invested in a facility that will contribute to this cause and drive the national development plan.”

“This project demonstrates how building public and private partnerships can help strengthen the health system, particularly in under-serviced rural areas, making a real and tangible difference to South Africa’s communities,” he adds Mkhwanazi.

The decision to build a healthcare centre was preceded by extensive stakeholder engagement and [was completed through] a public-private partnership between Anglo American’s Standerton-based New Denmark colliery, the Lekwa Local Municipality and the district Department of Health.

Twelve local subcontractors were engaged during the two-year construction phase, providing employment for 110 people from the area.

While appreciating what Anglo American has helped achieve, the MEC for Health in Mpumalanga, Gillion Mashego alludes to the fact that there was still a long way to go before the infrastructure of all clinics in the province met the required quality standards.

“Throughout my visits to health facilities I have learnt that we have a number of challenges, which only affirms that we need to do more to improve our primary health care, especially on the side of infrastructure. Our partnership with the private sector is aimed at enhancing our primary health care provision to change the lives of our people.”

The healthcare centre has two sections, a facility for day time walk-in patients, as well as a maternity and emergency unit that will operate on a 24-hour basis.

The day-time facility includes seven consultation rooms, a fully equipped treatment room, a pharmacy store with a dispensing outlet, dental rooms and six consulting rooms for social workers in the outpatients’ section.

The maternity and emergency wings contain examination and observation rooms, a first stage post-natal ward and delivery room, as well as a duty station and medicine store, sterile supply, linen, sluice and milk kitchen amenities.

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