Thousands of learners across communities in Kanana and Kgakala, within the Matlosana and Maquassi Hills Local Municipalities, are receiving health care services from the Bokomoso Solar’s School Health Programme. This 2021 mobile health clinic, has started visiting community schools in these rural areas, prioritising certain healthcare issues such as poor vision and dental care, to address health barriers to learning.
The key activities that make up the package of health services, provided as a baseline in all schools, includes; learner assessment and screening for vision, audiology, occupational therapy, and dentistry; the provision of on-site services, with the necessary follow up and referral processes; as well as health education. This is provided to Grade 1, Grade 4, Grade 8 and Grade 10, which is a large portion of the population within the targeted communities, under the age of fifteen.
“Most children spend up to thirteen of their formative years, from early childhood to young adulthood, in a classroom environment. This provides an ideal opportunity for health education and interventions that aim to address the many health and socio-economic factors, which affect children in South Africa. It is therefore our objective to support health care services to our local beneficiary communities, which surround our solar project,” said Claire Phutieagae, Community Liaison Officer for Bokamoso Solar, who explained that the scope of the population in these communities, under the age of fifteen, is over 145 000 children.
The school health mobile clinic started its rotational visits amongst various schools, early September 2021 and expects to complete the visits by the end of this academic year.
This initiative is an ideal example of how a Public-Private-Partnership can work to benefit communities, as the programme’s follow-up health services and referrals will be undertaken through the Department of Health. The programme is also aligned to the Department of Education’s Integrated School Health Policy.
This programme forms part of Bokomoso Solar project’s Socio-Economic Development Programme, which prioritises education and healthcare and views this support as helping young people to grasp a chance to fulfil their academic aspirations.
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