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
Nescafe inspires African bloggers at Start Conference 2014The Nescafe Start Conference 2014 has ended in Accra with a call on young tech entrepreneurs to use their creative ideas and skills to generate innovative business enterprises that would help create job opportunities. Read More
Huawei Ghana refurbishes Accra Central LibraryHuawei Ghana has officially presented a new state of the art library to the Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane Boamah, on behalf of the Ghana Library Authority. Read More
Vodafone Ghana Foundation ends 2014 with “Bring a Cheer to Your Community” CampaignVodafone Ghana says it is receiving proposals from Non Governmental Organisations whose focus is on contributing to the quality of life in rural communities across the country. Read More
Schneider Electric announces creation of Algerian-French centre of excellenceSchneider Electric has announced the signing of a three-way partnership agreement with the Algerian Ministry for Vocational Training and Education and the French Ministry for National Education for Education and Research. Read More
MTN Ghana Foundation marks seven years of CSI in GhanaMTN Ghana Foundation is marking seven years of outstanding and impactful Corporate Social Investments in Ghana. Read More
ICTs: Gabon tops Francophone AfricaMany analysts were hoping that countries such as Senegal and Morocco would top the French-speaking list in the ITU's 2014 ICT Development Index (IDI). But it was not to be because oil-rich and less populated Gabon grabbed the gold medal. Read More
45 learners graduate from Dimension Data Saturday SchoolDimension Data, the USD6 billion ICT solutions and services provider, has announced that 45 learners have graduated from its innovative Saturday School Programme. Read More
African telcos partner with AU to ‘kick Ebola out of Africa’Telecommunication companies across Africa have united to partner with the African Union (AU) Commission to garner resources in support of Ebola affected countries in West Africa. Read More
AfDB grants €176 million for next phase of Africa's largest solar power stationThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved one loan of €100 million and another of US $119 million for phase II of the Ouarzazate solar complex project (the NOORo II and NOORo III power stations). Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.