The acting MEC for the Department of Social Development, Dr Phophi Ramathuba (second from left), handed food parcels to indigent residents.
Residents of Matshavhawe and Khunda received a ray of hope after the MEC for Health and acting MEC for Social Development, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, paid them last Sunday (11th).
The two villages, which form part of the Makhado area, are faced with many challenges, which include lack of proper road, clinics, water and sanitation, and schools. They don’t have medical facilities in their villages.
Ramathuba said that the department would now ensure that the residents got access to mobile clinics right in their villages. “We will arrange for mobile clinics to reach the people, so that they consult with nurses,” she said.
She spoke at length about the advantages of living a healthy lifestyle and urged residents to get tested for HIV and TB. She said that it was always important for individuals to know their medical status. “People still don't want to talk about HIV and Aids,” she said. “They would rather talk about malaria and other diseases. You need to get tested, and if you find that you are HIV positive, then you start taking medication.”
She stated that the department had what they called a “90% Programme”, where they aimed for a zero TB infection. “We say that of 90% of people living with HIV tested for HIV, 90% of them should receive ARVs,” she said. “People need to be advised and encouraged not to default on treatment. We need to talk more and more about HIV, Aids and TB, so that more and more people get more knowledge of these diseases.”
Vhamusanda Vho-Khubana Muofhe said that, even though the area was still faced with a lot of service delivery challenges in terms of developing the place, he wanted to thank the department for having visited them. “The more the government visits us and sees our challenges, the more changes will be made in our villages,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Development handed food parcels to at least 37 indigent families. One of the recipients, Ms Jane Tshifularo, said that she appreciated the food. “Even though some of us get social grants, that money alone is not enough to meet all the needs in the home,” she said.
When asked if she had any plan or idea as to when a clinic would be built for the residents, Ramathuba said that the department had no exact date. “We don't just come down here and build a clinic because residents have got no clinic,” she said. “Building a clinic or health centre first amounts to a long process where we do a demographic analysis where we also consult with residents. While we are still busy planning on consultations, we will accelerate the use of regular mobile clinics.”
Date:19 June 2017 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.