Residents of Daggafontein, Ekurhuleni, will no longer have to travel five kilometres – often on foot – to access the nearest government clinic following the opening of a primary healthcare facility in the area, courtesy of Unjani Clinics and Pfizer.
This is the first of nine new clinics that non-profit organisation, Unjani Clinics, will establish as a result of an additional R11 million donation from Pfizer, pledged earlier this year.
Kevin Francis, Pfizer’s Cluster Lead: SSA & Country Manager: South Africa, says the investment is central to the company’s efforts to support systemic transformation in South Africa’s healthcare system.
“Pfizer is committed to continuing its partnership with Unjani, through empowering women healthcare providers and delivering breakthroughs that change patients’ lives,” he adds.
Pfizer has supported the Unjani Clinic Network since 2016. So far, the company has helped fund ten sonar machines and established eight clinics in various rural and urban communities, including Potchefstroom, Gqeberha, Sasolburg, and George.
To date, Unjani Clinics has set up 154 clinics nationwide, with the goal of establishing more than 600 clinics by December 2030. Each clinic is run by a professional nurse as a small business.
“One of the strengths of Unjani Clinics lies in the nurses identifying an area that needs access to affordable primary healthcare,” says Unjani Clinics CEO Lynda Toussaint.
“The nurses are generally from the areas where the clinics will be located or they have a close association with the communities they select. “The Daggafontein site was identified by Sister Nomvula Happiness Tsimong, who uncovered a pressing need for easier access to primary healthcare in her community,” adds Toussaint
Tsimong, who has been practising at various government facilities since 2005, has now taken on the role of a nurse-preneur and is excited to grow her business through serving the Daggafontein community.
She will initially employ a clinic assistant and take on a learner with the aim of growing her team as the clinic takes off. The provision of services will include childhood immunisation, family planning and maternity support, wound care, laboratory blood services, HIV testing and counselling, and management of patients on antiretroviral therapy.
The R11-million investment will go toward setting up nine clinics in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the North West.
Toussaint added that Pfizer is playing an invaluable role in creating equitable opportunities that enable South Africans to have access to quality primary healthcare. “Pfizer has provided significant support to Unjani Clinics over the past seven years. It is through such continued partnerships that Unjani can deliver healthcare to South African communities that need it most.”