Progressive Health Awareness Programme Established by Medical Student
A third-year Medical student at UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine has established a progressive TB and HIV awareness programme in Umgababa, south of Durban.
Mr Ashiq Pramchand’s programme started about a year ago when he partnered with Habitat for Humanity, an international non-profit organisation, which constructs homes for impoverished people.
‘On hearing about their plans to construct 1 000 homes in the Umgababa area over the next few years, I decided to contact them to offer a partnership between their organisation, SAMSA, BROCA (a mentorship organisation, which I started recently) and our Medical School.
‘I thought that it would be a great opportunity to raise awareness of TB and HIV/AIDS in our community and invite more volunteers,’ said Pramchand.
With the help of Mrs Eleanor Langley, UKZN’s Health Promoter based at the Medical School, Medical student volunteers from UKZN, together with Habitat for Humanity, used their building days as an opportunity to raise awareness of TB and HIV and to also perform health screenings from 17-19 July. Health screenings took place at Hlanzeni Community Hall in Umgababa in partnership with local service providers and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.
After screening, patients are referred to Umnini Clinic which is the closest referral health facility.
‘We are hoping that this campaign will grow from strength to strength and we have found ways of relaying news to the community about our services. The community leaders were quite enthusiastic about this idea As it is, we are discussing the potential long-term benefits of our partnership with them,’ added Pramchand who is also the Chairperson of BROCA, a student mentorship organisation and Vice President of SAMSA.
Words: Lihle Sosibo
Photograph supplied by Ashiq Pramchand