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Program brings free medical care to rural residents of Pongola

MORE than 300 community members received life-saving medical care, from eye exams to circumcisions, at Belgrade’s sports ground in Pongola last Friday.

It was part of the KZN Health Ministry’s “iSibhedlela Kubantu” program, which began with medical officials making house calls and vaccinating against Covid-19.

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“We are extremely happy to have brought these services to the local community, because that is what primary health care is for,” KZN Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said.

“We want to encourage people to prevent disease by getting used to the idea of ​​screening and testing.

Whether [diseases] are caught early, it is easier for them to be treated or managed.

“We are very pleased with the turnout, especially because all patients would normally have had to travel long distances to reach health facilities.”

The team included a doctor, physiotherapist and professional nurses, with referrals to hospitals when needed.

In total, medical authorities performed 57 circumcisions on men and boys; screened 279 people for tuberculosis and 12 for prostate cancer; tested 54 women for cervical cancer and started four on HIV mediation.
At least 180 patients were seen by an optometrist, with eight receiving glasses. The team also distributed walking sticks, instructed women in birth control and extracted teeth.

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