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COLLABORATIVE HEALTH PROJECT
A community health project, born from a collaboration, took place in Loeriesfontein successfully helping hundreds of community members with their dental and ophthalmology needs. The project, which ran at the end of last year, also aimed to promote healthy living in the community and provided COVID-19 awareness.
“This project, which we hope to be able to repeat, included health assessments with a focus on basic dental and optometry services as well as health awareness, specifically aimed at protection measures and addressing stigma around COVID-19,” explained Vanessa Fredericks Economic Development Manager for Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm.
The collaboration between the two wind farms and Innovo Mobile Healthcare provided care to a total of 414 patients who were screened over the ten-day period. 128 community patients had dental extractions or received referrals for extensive dental procedures. Over 130 patients were fitted for glasses, in addition to the 135 patients that were referred to an ophthalmologist. Medication to treat various ailments was also issued to patients.
In line with Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm’s ethos of stimulating local employment, two community members were hired and trained to assist with the implementation of the project, ensuring that the necessary data collection and COVID-19 protocols were adhered to.
Dental services in Loeriesfontein are limited, with a community health dentist only visiting once a month, and on occasion this may stretch to a two-month period. This situation is not ideal, as community members need to travel over 100km outside of Loeriesfontein to the closest medical service.
A Loeriesfontein community member, who was a recipient of this collaborative health care project, Marina Strauss, said “Thank you so much to Loeriesfontein Wind Farm and Innovo Mobile Health. I am so grateful for my glasses, they are just perfect and I can finally see well enough to read properly.”