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Medical facility upgraded in Province

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The next step in the project is to upgrade the paediatric ward, the theatre and the casualty section

INVESTMENT: Keaobaka Matilo, of Kumba Iron Ores Kolomela Mine, stands in front of the newly-upgraded Postmasburg medical complex, which boasts a high-tech trauma care unit that accommodates and stabilises patients before they are moved to more advanced medical facilities. Picture: Supplied

BEFORE 2015, people from the communities around Postmasburg in the Northern Cape travelled 30 kilometres or more – often on foot – to get primary health care. Thanks to a major investment in health-care infrastructure by Kumba Iron Ore, Anglo American’s iron ore business unit, over the past three years, mobile clinics now take health care to the communities.

A newly-upgraded Postmasburg medical complex boasts a high-tech trauma care unit, which accommodates and stabilises patients before they are moved to more advanced medical facilities.

The clinic is classified as an “ideal facility” by the Department of Health, and provides a range of community health services, including baby immunisations, family planning, and chronic treatment such as diabetic hypertension, cardiac, ARVs and a TB programme.

In 2017, 3 500 people visited the primary health care clinic, with more than 100 people treated in the trauma unit.

The upgraded hospital has six consulting rooms, a pharmacy, a reception area and a medication storage area. Doctors are housed in living units on the premises, which means four doctors are on duty, where it previously only had one or two doctors at any given time.

The next step in the project is to upgrade the paediatric ward, the theatre and the casualty section.

Keaobaka Matilo of Kumba Iron Ore’s Kolomela Mine has pointed out that the new medical facility has made a significant difference to the lives and well-being of local communities.

“It was critical for us to provide all necessary services in one central place. The project has not only brought huge relief to the people in the villages around Postmasburg, but also created jobs for nurses and drivers for the mobile clinics.”

The mine has invested over
R40 million in this project to date and has a long-standing collaborative partnership with the Department of Health in the Northern Cape to address all aspects of community health care.

“We realised there are many social problems in the community, we decided to partner with two NGOs to establish a trauma and drug abuse centre, and to provide counselling and support at the centre,” Matilo stated.