The mobile outreach programme by the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic (HMBC), is resuming its visits to community crèches and Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres this month, following an extended hiatus owing to the health pandemic.
Working in close collaboration with the Department of Health and funded by Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, the spokesperson at HMBC confirmed that outreach to Jeffreys Bay areas will commence to all community crèches in the targeted area, with plans to later extend the services to additional communities in the future.
The crèche visits will start again to ensure vaccinations are up to date and evaluation of general health of children. In the crèches we often find children that are never or seldom taken to general health systems, it is therefore especially important for us to visit these centres,” explained Lynette van Onselen, Director of the Healthy Mom and Baby Clinic.
The impact of C-19 on local community crèches has been devastating, reports van Onselen, with attendance reducing drastically. In many cases, these centres have less than 25% of the original attendance, which has resulted in a concern for both the impact on young children’s health as well as safety.
Responding to this situation, a joint venture between the HMBC mobile clinic and the Department of Health, was launched to manage home checks. The primary purpose being to ensure that vaccines are kept up to date as well general nutritional status and social difficulties, exacerbated by the escalation of unemployment.
“We are now able to provide more in-depth health assessments, as we have a volunteer Occupational Therapist, who assists with evaluation and management of children with developmental issues identified at these visits,” added van Onselen.
The funding from Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm supports the mobile clinic’s operational costs, the employment of a Nurse Assistant and a full-time Professional Nurse. “We are incredibly pleased that the HMBC’s Mobile Unit has been able to resume its visits to crèches and ECD centres and continue to believe in the incredibly important role that it plays within our communities. We are honoured to have been able to assist in making their services available to communities in and around areas in Jeffreys Bay,” explained Tsholofelo Moote, Economic Development Officer for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, who funded this project as part of its Socio-Economic Development Programme.
The HMBC was founded in 2002 due to an overwhelming need in the community for a specialized clinic that focused on improving the health of mothers and children. The Clinic helps thousands of patients each year, having assisted close to 100 000 patients since its inception. This non-profit organization is committed to delivering compassionate professional medical care to the most vulnerable and underprivileged women of the Jeffreys Bay community, in partnership with the Department of Health and its various financial donors.