The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health said it was pleasantly surprised at the warm response to its rural health initiative, particularly as 57 men and boys were circumcised in a single day
The department launched its community-based primary health program, “Isibhedlela Kubantu‘ targeting residents in remote rural areas.
This week, health workers set up mobile stations in Pongola, in northern KZN.
The demand for circumcision surprised the department
While the pop-up clinic aimed to offer different types of medical care, officials were surprised by the number of men and boys showing interest in medical circumcision.
This is particularly encouraging as SAnews.gov reported last month that eight initiates have died in the Eastern Cape since the start of the traditional male circumcision season on June 17 this year.
ALSO READ: Eight initiates have died in Eastern Cape
At least 300 community members made their way to this pop-up clinic on Friday. Of these, 57 men and boys opted for medical circumcision.
KwaZulu-Natal Health’s MEC Nomagugu Simelane was also on site and launched the program by visiting local homes with a team of medical officials in tow. They vaccinated eligible people against Covid-19 and informed them about various diseases.
At least 289 people were treated in just a few hours, 279 were screened for TB.
A dozen (12) patients were evaluated for prostate cancer; 54 women underwent a Pap smear (to test for cervical cancer) while four were started on the HIV protective pill known as pre-exposure prophylaxis.
About 63 patients were treated by a doctor, while 182 were cared for by professional nurses and 40 were treated by a physical therapist.
At least 188 patients were treated by an optician, with eight receiving glasses.
A number of geriatricians were also given walking sticks, while five women were initiated into birth control.
Ten other people had their teeth pulled.
27 patients were vaccinated against Covid-19, while one person tested positive for HIV/AIDS and received both counseling and antiretroviral treatment.
Another 21 patients were referred to the hospital.
“These are patients who would normally have had to travel a long way to visit health care facilities, but they are here and are delighted to have medical care at their doorstep,” Simelane said.
“We are very pleased to have brought these services to the local community. That is what primary health care is about,” she concluded.