Umkhanyakude to get a boost of brand new ambulances, a R232 million community health centre and 906 job opportunities
The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo unveiled injections
to the delivery of quality healthcare in the rural District of uMkhanyakude when
he handed over a site for the construction of a R262 million Community
Healthcare Centre and a fleet of brand new ambulances on the 17 August 2012 in
The District is known for being the most rural and impoverished District in the
Province and borders neighboring countries of Mozambique and Swaziland whose
citizens frequent public health facilities on the South African side. The
population is estimated at over 600 000 with approximately 36% having no means
of income. This contributes to the cycle of poverty found in the area.
Umkhanyakude District, a presidential node, is one of the areas in South Africa
that have been hardest hit by the ravaging HIV/AIDS pandemic, with more than 3
000 orphaned children not only heading homes, but also facing a bleak and
uncertain future as the fangs of poverty pierce deeper into their vulnerable
The fact that it is in a presidential node further illustrates the depth of
poverty in which the inhabitants, most of them women and children, find
themselves. The level of grinding poverty is further illustrated by the fact
that the elderly, who constitute only 4% of the population, are often the
breadwinners and carers.
The Community Healthcare centre will provide 'mini hospital' level of care
should be completed in 24 months and will create 906 jobs for the local
The MEC, whilst on a public road show speaking to all Emergency Medical Practitioners
about the concerns of citizens and urged them to ensure that they do their work
with discipline, commitment and honour. He (MEC Dhlomo) has visited four
Districts thus far and told a gathering at Empangeni that damaging and
recklessly driving ambulances will no longer be tolerated. He said; "Each
ambulance cost this Department an amount close R800 000.00 and that money cannot
go to waste without people accounting."
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