Samsung brings Solar Powered Health Centre to Cosmo City, SA
DEVELOPMENT| Oct. 18, 2013, 8:36 a.m.
Samsung Electronics Africa has stationed two of its Solar Powered Health Centres next to Oasis Itsoseng Community Clinic in Cosmo City in South Africa, providing members of the community with a variety of eye, ear, blood, dental, and pre- and post-natal screenings and treatments. Medical doctors from the University of Limpopo’s Medunsa campus were on site to examine and treat patients, while Samsung employees assisted with logistics and collecting statistical data as part of their annual ‘Employee Volunteer Programme’.
The two mobile units are designed for use in rural and underserviced areas, and are intended to eliminate the economic and geographic barriers that prevent people from across Africa from obtaining quality medical treatment. Samsung has set itself a goal of reaching one million people through its Solar Powered Health Centres by 2015 - as part of its broader CSR goal of positively impacting the lives of five million people in Africa by 2015.
“Today, we are seeing an innovation we’ve worked hard on developing come to life, and it is very exciting”, says Kea’ Modimoeng, Public Affairs and Common Shared Value Manager at Samsung Electronics Africa. “Good health is at the centre of one’s wellbeing, and impacts society at a fundamental level. It affects a child’s ability to learn at full potential, and an adult’s ability to provide for their family. This is why we have complemented our strong focus on education with a focus on quality healthcare.”
The Solar Powered Health Centre model was launched in March this year at Samsung Africa Forum, but the outreach in Cosmo City marks the first time it has been made accessible to the public. It also marks the launch of the ‘Mother and Child’ edition of the unit, which is specifically designed to provide medical services to mothers and their babies.
According to the World Bank, more than 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas. These people often lack the time and resources to reach clinics for proactive medical care, and particularly if they are ill and unable to make long journeys.
Clinics across the continent are also often unable to effectively service communities due to a lack of resources, coupled with high demand. “I need to come to the local clinic once a month as I suffer from high blood pressure. I get here at 06:30am and am usually only seen by the doctor by 12:30 or 1pm”, says Virginia Manyanye, a 49 yearr old resident of Cosmo City. “The walk to the clinic is a long one, and often I am turned away because the clinic does not have the right medicine in stock”.
Mounted on a truck and manned by qualified medical professionals, the Solar Powered Health Centres are able to move from one area to the next, providing a range of medical services to the public. A large focus will be placed on screening people to establish common conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay and cataracts. The centres will also focus on educating communities about health issues and encouraging people to take tests as preventative measure.
“The challenge regarding healthcare in South Africa is not only access to a physical clinic, but also access to alternative treatments” says Dr Pagollang Motloba, a dentist from Medunsa. “For example, most local clinics are only able to perform extractions when it comes to dental care. No crown or bridge work can be done due to a lack of equipment. This is why we are happy to partner with organisations like Samsung on solutions that open up alternatives and quality medical treatment to people on a sustainable basis”.
Samsung has shifted from focusing on ‘corporate social responsibility’, which is underlined by corporate accountability towards a new approach driven by the desire to create ‘Common Shared Value’, and underlined by both profit maximisation and improving people’s lives. This means that all of its education, health and community development programs will serve a dual purpose: supporting the company’s business goals through the development of a skilled, healthy workforce and consumer base, while at the same time improving the lives of people in Africa.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
Caterpillar launches free e-learning website for future technicians in AfricaCaterpillar has launched the pilot phase of an e-learning website for people who have the ambition to become a technician in Nigeria, Mozambique and DR Congo. Read More
E-agriculture: How ICT is taking farming into the futureICTs have the potential to support agricultural development in poor countries by functioning as innovative solutions to agricultural challenges. Read More
KitsoWorks holds stakeholder engagement sessionThe implementing partners of Botswana's KitsoWorks initiative are working on scaling up the youth empowerment pilot project. Read More
New i2i initiative to draw customer data for better financial servicesThe Mastercard Foundation has launched a $9.6 million Initiative with Finmark Trust and Cenfri to provide better aggregated data to help financial service providers respond more appropriately to banking needs of poor clients. Read More
Airtel Kenya, First Lady launch mobile clinic in Embu countyAirtel Kenta CEO Adil El Youssefi yesterday joined Her Excellency the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for the official handover ceremony of the Airtel funded 34th “Beyond Zero” mobile clinic to Embu County. Read More
Schneider Electric launches 2016 graduate programmeSchneider Electric South Africa has launched a graduate programme for those students who want to become world-class engineers in the field of energy management. Read More
Airtel Ghana wins CSR excellence awardAirtel Ghana has been named Best CSR Company for Education at the 5th Ghana CSR Excellence Awards. Read More
COMESA, Microsoft collaborate to promote access, skills and innovation in 19 African countriesCOMESA, through the COMESA Business Council (CBC) and Microsoft, have taken a step toward strengthening their working alliance by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which sets out how they will collaborate in the areas of access to technology, development of relevant skills and the fostering of innovation in COMESA ... Read More
MainOne upgrades school ICT labIn line with its vision to improve broadband penetration across Nigeria, MainOne has given a facelift to the ICT Laboratory of Herbert Macaulay Girls Secondary School, in Yaba, Lagos. Read More
FEATURED STORYeCommerce in Africa urged to take advantage of mobile
The Executive Chairman of Alltel has urged operators of eCommerce in Ghana and Africa as a whole to take advantage of the current trend for Africans to trade online via their mobile handsets.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNigeria needs $25b investment in broadband, says Wood
Telecoms executive Adrian Wood speaks to Kokumo Goodie about investment potential in Nigeria.