Train of Hope is bringing healthcare to SA’s poor communities

Train of Hope is bringing healthcare to SA’s poor communities

  • Phelophepa clinic recently went to Dube station in Soweto to deliver much-needed health care facilities to residents
  • The mobile train clinic is run by the state-owned logistics train company Transnet and provides almost free health care
  • The mobile train clinic plans to provide improvised communities in South Africa with health care that many are unable to afford

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Early Thursday morning, a 19-coach train arrived at the Dube station in Soweto township. The train brought urgently needed and almost free medical services to impoverished residents.

Train of Hope, Phelophepa clinic, Healthcare, Dude station
The "Train of Hope" provides healthcare to poor communities in South Africa. Image: Darren Stewart/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

According to ENCA, the Phelophepa clinic dubbed the “Train of Hope” goes across South Africa for nine months of the year. It is equipped with medical facilities for optometry, dentistry, general medicine, psychology and a pharmacy.

The Phelophepa clinic is run by the state-owned logistics operator Transet.

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18-year-old law student Retshepile Mosena was among the hundreds of people that showed up at the mobile clinic south of Johannesburg.

She said she had suffered with her eyesight for two years and was unable to afford to get her eyes tested or purchase the glasses she needed, according to EWN.

"I was... saving up to buy glasses for myself, but this opportunity came up and I took it," she said.

Mosena said she only paid R30 for her eye test and glasses, which is a mere fraction of what she would have paid somewhere else.

The train's acting manager Thelma Sateke, says the clinic is still far from achieving 100% free healthcare coverage. She added that the main goal for the train is to reach people that need health services the most.

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With the Covid-19 pandemic still going on, the train’s functionality and reach has been limited, however, Satake says the goal is to reach 65 000 people this year.

"The train still has a lot to do to bring the services to the rural areas (and urban) where services are nonexistent at some point or they are very rare,” she said.

People between 50 and 59 years of age to receive vaccines next week

In a recent report by Briefly News, it was reported that Gauteng Premier David Makhura, announced that vaccination registration will soon be open to citizens between 50 and 59 years old.

Makhura stated that this will happen from next week and then they will be moving to those in their 40s. During his budget vote, Makhura confirmed that as this category continues, they will be moving to the other age groups soon, from people in their 40s to people in their 30s, etc.

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Only healthcare workers and people 60 years old and above have been eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine so far in South Africa. Reports revealed that the country will need to increase the vaccine rollout programme as the nation battles with a powerful third wave.

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Source: Briefly News

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