As part of Philips’ sixth consecutive Cape Town to Cairo roadshow which kick started on May 11, Philips South Africa and the Rhiza Foundation have launched their “mobile clinic” project focusing on delivering basic primary healthcare to thousands of people living in townships that have little or no access to healthcare facilities.
A collaboration between Philips South Africa, Rhiza Foundation and corporate social investment partners Nozala Trust and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the mobile clinic is currently being deployed to service the populous townships of Diepsloot, Cosmo City and Orange Farm, in Northern Johannesburg.
The main goal of the clinic is to improve the quality of life and provide access to health services, particularly access to maternal-child healthcare and dental care.
The Mobile Clinic vehicle, custom built on a mid-sized truck frame, operates as a “mini-health clinic on wheels” and provides an extremely versatile platform to deliver primary health care services, education and counseling. Measuring 10 meters by 2.5 meters, the mobile clinic is divided into two parts: a maternal and child care section and a dental care section.
Coming on board as the clinical technology partner in this project, Philips has equipped the Mobile Clinic with its innovative VISIQ ultrasound; the size of a tablet, the VISIQ is the first ultra-mobile ultrasound system from Philips. Approximately ten times smaller than a traditional ultrasound machine and with reduced energy consumption, the VISIQ ultrasound is ideally tailored for the mobile clinic and will be used for screening, triage and fetal well-being scans, all of which helps to address the critical issue of maternal and infant care prevalent across South Africa.
In addition, other diagnostic and maternal imaging technology such as the Philips Avalon Fetal Monitor (FM20), to detect the baby’s heart beat and the uterus contractions and a Goldway Colposcope, to capture live images of the cervix have also been installed in the mobile clinic. Philips plasma screens with DVD player will be used to show patients educational videos when they visit the mobile clinic.
According to the General Manager, Philips Healthcare, Southern Africa, Jose Fernandes, “In many African countries including South Africa, there is a chronic shortage of suitable equipment or necessary skills to facilitate safe delivery and appropriate newborn care, as well as dental care. By bringing healthcare directly to those most in need, shortens the waiting period and improves access which ultimately saves lives.”
The Mobile Clinic will be staffed by an-all women team of a registered nurse, a dental therapist, a dental assistant and a driver/ assistant, as one of the goals of the project is to empower and uplift women. The mobile clinic has the capacity to relocate without difficulty, allowing for increased patient care coverage.
Johannesburg is the second stop on the Cape Town to Cairo journey covering 12,000 km across 11 cities and 8 countries over a period of 4.5 months. The next stop on the roadshow will be Nairobi, Kenya from 26-29, May 2015.