Refilwe Bophelo Clinic is Primary Health Care Clinic is based at Refilwe Community Project. We are not under the umbrella of Refilwe Community Project, but work closely with them to render services to the local disadvantaged informal settlements. The nearest government clinic is over 18kms away, which presents a challenge to our community as many of them do not have regular income or available transport. Many people on chronic medications end up defaulting, and children in the area have not been immunised due to the distance they need to walk.
Refilwe Bophelo Clinic was founded in this area to provide an affordable medical service to the local communities. One of our beliefs is that medical care should not be denied to any, so services are provided even if the patients are unable to afford our small fee. Many of our patients come from St. Ansgars High School, located across the road. These students have a high pregnancy rate and many are HIV+. We offer a support group for students from the school which meets weekly. This past term we had a great success with 5 of the pregnant students giving birth to healthy babies, and the mothers returning to school after the birth to write their exams.
Our latest program is Home Based Care where our 2 caregivers visit and identify health needs in the community, referring them to the clinic and providing practical assistance within the informal settlements. Currently we go into 6 of our surrounding communities. This is a much needed service as many of the local residents are homebound and cannot easily visit the clinic on a regular basis. For those on chronic medication the caregivers visit regularly to ensure that they are taking the medication correctly and to encourage them to return to the clinic for check-ups and to collect the next dose of medication. Sister Didi goes out with the caregivers twice a week to check on the progress of patients.
The clinic also liases with the Department of Health to implement campaigns, such as polio and measles vaccinations for all pre-school aged children, pap smears for women and HIV testing. We played a large role in the Rotary Health Day on May 27th. Refilwe Community Project provided premises, and the staff of the Refilwe Bophelo Clinic, in conjunction with Rotary and the Department of Health, manned the stations. Over 250 community members were tested for HIV and TB, polio and measles vaccinations were given, Pap Smears were administered and education on Male Medical Circumcision and Family Planning was given.
We have also begun a program of Health Education for residents on nearby plots, as well as other non-profit organisations.