By: Roma Ramphal (KZN Provincial Differentiated Care Manager)
Arthur Christopher Louw and Esme Andrews.
Rainbows emanate after storms have passed, and the community of Rainbow Ridge in Clare Estate, eThekwini, has been facing a series of storms for some time. The lack of adequate health awareness and promotion, as well as socio-economic factors among vulnerable groups of people, has resulted in challenges with wellness in this community.
On 12 March 2022, I was invited to the Rainbow Ridge community where I met two of its leaders: Arthur Christopher Louw (Chris) and Buhlebakhe Hlongwa (Buhle).
Chris and Buhle are the founders of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) serving this community called 'Lasting Legacies Empowerment NGO'. In the short time I spent with them, it was remarkable to see the community's trust in the NGO's ability to deliver. They knew everyone by name, and shared interesting stories and the history of Rainbow Ridge with us.
Hlengiwe Mathe (HST's roving Pharmacist), Chris, Buhle and I did a walk-about in the settlement to greet people and ask questions about their overall health and where and whether chronic patients on treatment for chronic illnesses collect their medicines.
An elderly lady living with diabetes told us how she waits in a queue for many hours when collecting her insulin vials from Addington Hospital. The CCMDD programme does not offer insulin, as it is a cold-chain item, and we were not able to assist uGogo without disclosure of her full prescription.
We met Esme Andrews, who looks after her grandchildren and was eager to share that King George Hospital enrolled her in the Dablapmeds programme last year. She is enjoying the experience of collecting via the Spaced Fast-lane Appointment System queue at Clare Estate Clinic, which is the most convenient pick-up point for her. When I recommended that she nominate her son to do this on her behalf, she gave a beautiful smile and replied that she enjoys her day going off to collect her medicines.
We also heard of a grandmother who refuses to go anywhere else but to her doctor at Addington Hospital, whom she loves dearly and who has been treating her for over 20 years.
The Health Systems Trust SA SURE Project has identified the need to disseminate CCMDD programme information and provide health services in such communities. We are collaborating with Chris and Buhle to arrange a Health and Wellness Day to offer HIV Testing Services (including assisted HIV self-screening), nurses who will provide an array of services, as well as a team of pharmacists to assist patients with their chronic medicines and information about the CCMDD programme.
The Rainbow Ridge community is very excited about this gesture from HST. We will be sure to share developments, with photographs, in a follow-up piece.
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