Strengthened health team delivering local care for Noupoort community
A health clinic that has been serving a rural South African population with support from its local wind farm is building on the success of its recently launched x-ray service with the addition of a new specialist staff member.
More than a hundred patients have been x-rayed since the diagnostic machinery was installed at Noupoort Community Healthcare Centre in the Northern Cape last July.
Previously they would have had to have made a gruelling round-trip to attend one of the twice-weekly x-ray sessions in Colesburg, 55km away, often relying on ambulance transfers when there was no other affordable transport.
Now the 24/7 care facility has appointed a full-time radiographer to further improve medical outcomes for the local area’s 8,000 residents. Lauren Beukes has relocated from Cape Town after qualifying as a radiographer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Operational Manager Sister Jokka explained how, through prompt assessment of injuries and illnesses, her new team member will have an important role in delivering better treatment plans.
She said: "Since obtaining the x-ray machine, the most common requests we have received are chest and extremity x-rays due to injuries sustained. X-rays are now readily available for medical officers to diagnose or refer patients.
"Subsequently, the services that are locally rendered decreased the load on Emergency Medical Services and it is cost-effective for both patients and the institution."
Provision of the x-ray machine was funded by the nearby Noupoort Wind Farm, in collaboration with the district and provincial Department of Health offices, as well as the Provincial Department of Public Works.
Mainstream’s Economic Development Manager, Sandisiwe Mntonintshi, told how adding to the centre’s services in this way had local benefits across health, social welfare and infrastructure.
She said: "We are, of course, pleased that a fully qualified radiographer has been appointed by the Provincial Department of Health, to operate the equipment at the Noupoort Community Healthcare Centre.
"By donating the X-ray unit, we have been able to achieve all three development target areas, which focus on supporting and improving the socio-economic conditions of the community."
- Noupoort Wind Farm was developed, constructed and is now operated by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power. The 80 MW plant began generating around 304,800MWh of clean energy a year for the Eskom grid in July 2016, enough to power up to 69,000 South African homes.