Residents in the Outjo area, south of Etosha National Park are rest assured to have a relatively stress-free winter, having previously been visited by the Hochland Roundtable 154’s Medic RUSH (Rural Upliftment and Social Healthcare) initiative.
Medic RUSH provides free basic health care (consisting of nutrition, oral and counselling, as well as referrals to specialist) to impoverished communities who do not have access to healthcare.
Standard Bank recommitted to this initiative for the 10th consecutive year, sponsoring an impressive N$100 000 to the cause. The funds were geared towards promoting the much needed healthcare to underprivileged communities in remote parts of the country.
A patient receiving treatment from the Medic RUSH team
“As one of the key players in the Namibian private sector, Standard Bank believes that it is our role to complement government in its quest to deliver essential services, such as health care, to all Namibians in all corners of the country,” Standard Bank’s Acting Head of Marketing Sigrid Tjijorokisa said.
Medical professionals (consisting of doctors and nursing staff) and volunteers made up the party of 50 which administered health care to locals free of charge.
Apart from also receiving free medication, the elderly and mothers of young children received winter blankets, while all patients who visited the mobile clinic were given an oral hygiene kit.
“The Medic RUSH is a project to deliver primary health care to patients in remote areas and with this we were able to see quite a few patients over the 3 days but also very importantly we were able in most circumstances supply the patients with any medication required and pick up any serious cases which required referrals to help patients identify and manage any serious health issues,” the Chairman of the Hochland RoundTable 154, Basson van Rooyen said.
Standard Bank staff with the Medic RUSH team and some of the patients at the end of a long dayHe added that a total of 380 patients were treated during the three days at the mobile clinic, without them having to travel long distances. Ordinarily, those patients would have to travel hundreds of kilometres to Outjo to receive treatment, however that was not the case. Owing to some of the sponsors, the Medic RUSH team was also able to drive to farms near were the mobile clinic was set-up on any given day and bring some of the patients to the doctors.
While coordinating an event of this magnitude always presents itself with challenges, it was nothing Van Rooyen and his team could not take in their stride. “It is always a big task to feed a team of about 50 doctors and volunteers, set up a clinic in a different spot every day and manage all the patients visiting the clinics but with a great team from Round Table and every person willing to pull their weight we were once again able to run a successful RUSH with no major issues, great to have the right team and sponsors behind a project like this,” he stressed.
The communities visited also expressed their gratitude towards the Medic RUSH team, with some urging government and other private organisations to follow in the Hochland RoundTable’s footsteps.
“I am very happy that Medic RUSH is here. It is the first time we have an initiative like this in our small village and it means a lot to us because we often have to travel to Outjo which is inconvenient because we do not always have money to travel that far. My only wish as a mother with two young children is that we have this clinic here every month,” 23 year old Sandrina Mangundu, a patient who was treated at the clinic said.
Another patient, 76 year old Anna Swarts, concurred with Mangundu, stressing that they were suffering with getting treatment, so initiatives such as Medic RUSH should gain momentum and be availed to all communities across the country. ”Having Medic Rush here to treat us makes me very happy, they are not only treating us physically but also on an emotional level because they have travelled this far to show us that they care about our wellbeing,” she concluded.
This year’s Medic RUSH initiative was held from the 30th April to the 4th of May 2017.