New health centre to meet diverse needs of the community

Jubilation and ululations, mixed with tears of joy, were the order of the day as the community of Umtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal witnessed the sod turning ceremony marking the official start of the long-awaited construction of a local community health centre.

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, joined by Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane and UMkhanyakude District Municipality Mayor, Siphile Mdaka, presided over the sod turning ceremony at the site for the construction of the Mtubatuba Community Health Centre (CHC), which will provide comprehensive health services.

The establishment of the community health centre represents a vital step towards redefining healthcare access for the residents of Umtubatuba.

By bringing essential medical services closer to home, the CHC aims to alleviate the burden of traveling long distances in search of healthcare, thereby saving community costs and time.

The initiative aligns with the overarching goal of ensuring equitable access to quality healthcare services for all member
s of the community.

The most noteworthy aspect of the CHC project is its commitment to provide a wide range of healthcare services tailored to meet the diverse needs of the community.

Upon completion, the centre will serve as a one-stop destination for disease screenings, medication collection, dental and optometric consultations, TB and cancer screenings, as well as specialised services for male health.

The centre will also offer free circumcision services and facilitate access to mobility aids, including wheelchairs and crutches, further enhancing the quality of life for residents.

Speaking at the event, Dube-Ncube said the construction of the community health centre will result in the creation of more than 300 jobs.

The Premier urged people responsible for employing staff to refrain from employing people based on political affiliation or membership.

‘We also discourage community members who demand that only local professional people must be employed in health facilities. Employment of professionals i
n these facilities need to be done on merit – irrespective of where the health professionals hail from,’ Dube-Ncube said.

The Premier introduced the contractor tasked with the construction of the health centre and handed over ten vehicles to Community Policing Forums (CPFs) in Umkhanyakude District Municipality.

The ten cars are part of a fleet of 85 vehicles that were unveiled during the handing over of tools of trade to community crime fighting structure in Durban on 5 April 2024.

Simelane emphasised that access to quality healthcare is a human right, and people in rural areas are also entitled to it like others in urban areas.

The MEC also assured that the local community will receive priority during recruitment of people who will work during the construction of the facility.

The Department of Health said the construction of the health centre is expected to be completed in the next three years.

Source: South African Government News Agency