31 August 2018 Photo Godfrey Ndoda
UFS Mobile Clinic - an exemplary framework of innovation
Free State Department of Health and the UFS Faculty of Health Sciencesentered into a partnership set to improve primary health care in the Free State society.

The Coordinator of Community Engagement and Rural Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr René Botha, described the unveiling and handing-over ceremony of the University of the Free State (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences’ Mobile Clinic as “an auspicious and phenomenal occasion in the history of the faculty, and the institution as a whole”.

This mobile healthcare service will align itself with the current mobile service offered by the Free State Department of Health (FSDH) and will include an optometry service. This is the first service of its kind and aims to expose students and the broader community to mobile primary healthcare on rural platforms.

This collaboration between the Faculty of Health Sciences and the FSDH is believed to change and improve lives.   

“The purpose of the clinic is to enrich current primary healthcare measures that were implemented through valuable collaborations. This will result in the betterment of community members who have limited access to healthcare resources,” explained Dr Botha.

UFS medical students have been working on a continuous healthcare programme that started in 2016. The programme operates in areas in the southern Free State, where students engage with the community, schools, clinics, and are making home visits to residents in the area. The main purpose of the programme is to find solutions to key healthcare problems in the region. 

The MEC of Health, Montseng Tsiu, addressed the audience and explained, “implementing primary healthcare holistically through the mobile clinic, will benefit residents in rural areas who have a lack of facilities”. 

According to Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, the mobile clinic is an example of the innovation framework that cultivates the university’s mandate. The mandate stipulates the creation and maintenance of equitable partnerships with the province, the FSDH, the Department of Education, and many other crucial stakeholders that will ensure the imparting of knowledge, excellence, and quality in contributing to society.

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