The Zama-Zama (Zulu for ‘Keep Trying’) informal settlement at Daspoort, Pretoria West may be down, but they’re certainly not out. Despite the fact that there is no running water, sanitation or electricity; the sense of community pride runs deep, the unemployed keep busy, flowers have been planted and the dusty roads are kept neat and clean. Some positive change finally lies on the horizon for the people of Zama-Zama, who ‘keep trying’ their shot at a better quality of life.
The Health Sciences Faculty at the University of Pretoria, in response to a call from the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has actively collaborated with the provincial and local healthcare authorities to re-engineer primary health care in the most needy townships and informal settlements of Tshwane.Eight communities have already benefited from a Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) model, which has been developed and sustained by the University’s Department of Family Medicine over the past few years. With your help, the community of Zama-Zama at Daspoort can become the ninth.
Phase one of the five-phase project to equip Zama-Zama to become a self-sustaining a a self-sustaining and empowered community, involves establishing water and sanitation services, and a fully equipped community health centre. In 2013 the multi-disciplinary team was able to put up four extra water tanks to ensure the community doesn’t run out and a borehole was drilled with water testing and the installation of a pump planned for early 2014.
One of the ways in which medical and other health students at the University of Pretoria will be involved in the Zama-Zama project is through the Longitudinal Clinic Attachment Programme - a ‘medical education through experiential service learning’ initiative that has been an integral part of the health professional curriculum at the University’s School of Medicine since 2008.
This programme has already been recognised with an Education Innovation Laureate Award and an Ultimate Laureate award by the University of Pretoria.
The incremental approach to developing the Daspoort Zama-Zama project over five phases will see shipping containers converted into a range of safe spaces: a nursery school/day care facility, a health care facility, a community/learning centre, a kitchenette, a bathroom facility, and a policing/safety satellite site. The first container was developed into a health facility and services have started and the entire community has been visited by a community health worker from the area being supported by the local medical team at Daspoort Clinic. A nutritional study was undertaken on residents in 2013 as well as a maternal and child programme in collaboration with private funders. Home visits and regular health services on site have assisted this community not only to manage, but to prevent many diseases.
To find out how you can support phase two and three of the project please contact:
Dr Ellenore Meyer Tel: +27 (0)12 379 3453 [email protected]