Windhoek-Residents in the Outjo area, south of Etosha National Park can rest assured to have a relatively stress-free winter, having previously been visited by the Hochland Round Table 154’s Medic RUSH (Rural Upliftment and Social Healthcare) initiative. Medic RUSH provides free basic healthcare (consisting of nutrition, an oral hygiene kit, counselling and referrals to specialists) 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.
“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 healthcare, 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 that administered healthcare 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 healthcare to patients in remote areas and with this we were able to see quite a few patients over the three days and also very importantly, in most circumstances, supply patients with medication required and pick up any serious cases that required referrals to help patients identify and manage any serious health issues,” the chairman of the Hochland Round Table 154, Basson van Rooyen said.
He 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 where 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 the government and private organisations to follow in the Hochland Round Table’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,” said 23-year-old Sandrina Mangundu, a patient who was treated at the clinic.
Another patient, 76-yea-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 April 30 to May 4.