General Medicine Mobile Clinic
There is a far better way to provide healthcare and reduce the pressure on already overwhelmed clinics and hospitals: mobile health clinics that are nurse-led, doctor-supervised, and capable of serving a large population.
Right now, through a unique partnership, we have the chance to buy and put into service two mobile medical clinics that will reach 10 isolated settlements with about 238,000 people. We’re talking about community-transforming potential here.
Side by Side and Hope4Health, the organization that will manage this project for us, are in discussions with the Gauteng Health Department, the South Africa Medical Association (SAMA), the South Africa Nurses Association, area hospitals, and other healthcare entities.
All are enthusiastic about this plan and believe that once success has been demonstrated — significantly improved health care AND reduced pressure on hospitals — there is great potential for long-term funding and expansion to many other South African communities.
iTHEMBA Clinic 2023 Timeline
January – Project Initiation
The collaboration partners implemented the project in January 2023 with the launch of executive management and licensing, training, and orientation. This ensured that the groundwork for the launch of the clinic was accurately managed. The clinic and garage were going to be built at Klipkop community center. Building commenced on 1 February 2023. The implementing partner took delivery of the outfitted mobile clinic in January.
February – Staff Employment
Job specs and recruitment was conducted to identify community-based employees with the prerequisite skill. Ike is the community health worker and specialized code 10 driver for the mobile clinic, Joyce is the registered professional nurse, and Beldah serves as Administrative support. The core operations team is responsible for the daily clinical services as well as community health education and screening.
March – Staff Upskilling
The staff was trained, and operational manuals and guidelines were generated to ensure the efficient implementation of services. In collaboration with the GDOH, the staff received health material and education on patient management and admissions. Clinical governance and disease management protocols were generated.
April – Operation
iThemba clinic was officially launched on 1 April 2023 and received the support of the community, the local leadership, the religious leaders, and the health sector. iThemba promotes preventative medicine rather than curates medicine as we believe prevention is better than cure. The project launched with a phased approach so that rollout would be well-controlled and managed in order to allow both the staff and the community to implement services in a regulated manner fully.
May – Health Promotion
In mid-May 2023, our seed funders proposed the employment of 2 health promotion officers. Their contract positions were implemented on 1 June 2023. These officers will continue to support the clinical team with community health education, awareness, and screening services.