PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa’s Thuma Mina programme this week rolled into Uitenhage town, where hundreds of people were treated for various illnesses.
The health awareness programme ran from Monday to Wednesday.
Doctors and nurses treated sick people in their mobile clinics which visited KwaLanga kasi.
They also visited the homes of gogos and mkhulus who could not make it to the mobile clinics.
Eastern Cape health MEC Helen Sauls-August said: “Uitenhage, ward 53 in particular, has a high prevalence of tuberculosis, teen pregnancy and substance abuse. The wellness programmes come as a response to the pleas of community members. The area does not have its own healthcare facility and people travel to other areas to access health services.”
She thanked church leaders who on Sunday encouraged their members to come and get tested for chronic diseases such as HIV/Aids and TB.
“The contribution by the churches this past Sunday was overwhelming,” she said.
Dr Noluvuyo Pepeta said the programme should be continued because patients felt free to consult in the comfort of their homes.
“Many people do not go to clinics because they are far away. They also cannot stand long in the queues at clinics. It is better for patients to seek treatment from our mobile vans and from the comfort of their own homes,” said Pepeta.
“I am thrilled that the doctors visited our area,” said resident Lentricia Reyners (22). “We do not have a clinic here and many people are suffering in their houses.”
Harriet Kondle, a member of the local health committee, said: “We invited the health department to come and assist us because we do not have clinics in our area. Patients travel long distances to get treatment. They often get robbed on the way. We urge the department to continue holding this programme as it helps residents.”