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Sick and infirm in Outjo district treated by Medic RUSH roving clinic

Sick and infirm in Outjo district treated by Medic RUSH roving clinic

Hundreds of patients in the rural area south of the Etosha National Park were examined and treated by a band of roving medics over a 3-day period at the beginning of May.

The travelling party of about 50 doctors and nurses used the many public holidays in the first week of May to take medical treatment to the communities living in this vast expanse of bush. The travelling clinic, aptly named Medic RUSH for Rural Upliftment and Social Healthcare, is the brainchild of the Hochland Round Table 154 in Windhoek.

Medic RUSH provides free basic healthcare to poor communities who do not have access to conventional healthcare. Patients are treated in the clinic while more serious cases are referred for further consultation.

The roving clinic distributes free medication to diagnosed patients and nutritional supplements to young mothers and the elderly. This year, a gift of a winter blanket and an oral hygiene kit were included for all those who visited the clinic.

“Medic RUSH is a project to deliver primary health care to patients in remote areas and with this we were able to see quite a few patients over the 3 days. We were able in most circumstances to supply patients with the medication required and detected [some] serious cases which required referrals to help patients identify and manage any serious health issues,” said Basson van Rooyen, the Chairman of the Hochland Round Table 154.

A total of 380 patients were treated at the mobile clinic. During the day, some Medic RUSH volunteers traversed the Outjo district, picking up people from farms, and bringing them to the place where the travelling clinic operated. This relieved them of the burden to travel to Outjo to visit the state clinic. Even a game viewing vehicle, normally occupied by tourists, was commandeered by one of the lodges in the area to take its staff members to the clinic.

Organising the Medic RUSH clinic presented its own challenges. “It is always a big task to feed a team of about 50 doctors and volunteers, set up a clinic in a different spot every day and manage all the patients visiting the clinics” said van Rooyen.

“With a great team from Round Table and every person willing to pull their weight we were once again able to run a successful RUSH with no major issues. It was great to have the right team and sponsors behind a project like this” he stressed.

Patients expressed their delight after being treated saying they wish Medic RUSH could come along every month.

Standard Bank sponsored the clinic with N$100,000.

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The Community Contributor is any of a number of authors whose specific beat is community wellness, development and upliftment. Many of the authors have been contributors to the Economist for years. Others work for commercial enterprises, specialising in spreading their Corporate Social Responsibility messages. Ed.