Gauteng Department of Health Launches Mobile Clinics in Schools, Principal Calls for Focus on Mental Health

Gauteng Department of Health Launches Mobile Clinics in Schools, Principal Calls for Focus on Mental Health

Speaking to Briefly News at the launch, Dr Rosy Ndhlovu, Mobile Health Clinic Foundation CEO, explained that the programme aims to provide school learners and teachers with essential healthcare services.

These services include primary healthcare screenings, dental services, optometry and health and water safety education.

Ndhlovu added that pupils are typically treated by the mobile clinics unless teachers identify issues they cannot handle and refer them to other medical practitioners. The mobile health clinics go from school to school on a scheduled basis and address different issues with each visit. The foundation has been ongoing for the past four years and four Gauteng schools are the latest to have been privileged with this service.

The foundation has performed 60 000 screenings in the past year and hopes to impact over one million lives. Ndhlovu added that these screenings are important because some learners suffer from ailments such as poor vision and hearing and are often branded as naughty children because of these health issues.

Lanseria school principal praises Mobile Health Clinics Foundation:

The mobile health clinics do not only benefit learners, but they also benefit teachers who may not have the time to get their health checked. The school principal of Kwena Molapo Secondary in Lanseria, Micheal Maligana, told Briefly News that the programme has been very beneficial for his school. The foundation first approached Maligana’s school during the Covid-19 pandemic to help curb infections and the relationship has been ongoing since then.

Maligana stated that the mobile clinics have been instrumental in assisting pupils and teachers who may have health challenges.

Maligana stated that the learners and teachers were thrilled to have the mobile clinics at school and hope that the clinics can be stationed there permanently if possible.

School principal is glad mobile health clinics will start addressing mental health issues:

The Kwena Molapo Secondary School principal stated while the mobile clinics cater to basic healthcare needs, they also need to start addressing mental health issues for learners and teachers.

Maligana added that he is very passionate about mental health since some people suffer in silence. He says by addressing mental health problems, many things, such as suicides, drug use and gender-based violence, can be avoided. The principal added that teachers also need mental health assistance because they are expected to deliver while facing their own troubles and are not allowed to bring their challenges to learners.

Gauteng School Health Programme cuts out government red tape:

Gauteng Department of Health Director of Maternal Child Health and Nutrition, Sikhonjiwe Masilela, told Briefly News he is happy about the private-public sector partnership the Gauteng School Health Programme has created.

Masilela stated that this programme removes a lot of obstacles for learners because the private sector does not have to jump through as many hoops to get things done.

The Gauteng health director added that sometimes government processes are too long because a person needs to have a tender before providing a service such as free glasses. Masilela added that they are looking into partnering with more companies to ensure services such as the mobile health clinics are not limited to just four out of the 2 400 schools in the province.