Tshwane Mobile Health Consulting has been involved with the community of Schaumburg for over six months and has been providing primary health care services to both adults and children there. Before commencement of services, TMHC conducted a Health Risk Assessment to obtain the baseline health problems in order to formulate a responsive health programme to meet the needs of the community.
To date, TMHC has seen more than two hundred children falling within the ages of 0 – 12 years old with health-related problems. Most of the problems seen there are related to the living conditions under which they live in and to a greater extent, related to poverty. The following are challenges which have been picked up during consultation with the community of Schaumburg.
Health challenges of children between the ages birth – 12 years
Most children presented with conditions related to malnutrition: scabies, skin problems, vitamin deficiency conditions.
Immunization: most children either have never received their scheduled immunizations or have skipped a few vaccinations. This predisposes them to secondary infections / illness.
Burn wounds, especially now in winter, as a result of lack of supervision from parents and use of coal stoves.
Most presented with infestations from worms (ringworms and tapeworms) due to poor living conditions.
A few cases of poisoning (paraffin or rat poisoning) have also been noted.
Diarrheal and vomiting condition (running stomach).
Over and above the conditions mentioned, there cases of minor ailment like flu, stomach aches, toothaches, etc.
Other general problems relate to lack of proper documentation (birth certificates) and that makes if difficult for them to receive help from hospitals.
Benefits of having a permanent clinic
The presence of a permanent and sustainable healthcare clinic will go a long way in managing present health-related problems.
There will be an immediate response to treatable health conditions before they complicate.
There will be easy access to health care at a time convenient to the community.
Medical emergencies will be immediately seen, stabilized and managed and / or referred to other facilities, thus saving lives.
There will be continuous support to the parents in as far as health education is concerned.
Treatable and preventable illnesses will be easily managed and treated if there is access to the clinic every day.