(Published - 10 June 2019)
Third-year students from the School of Nursing and Natural Medicine braved a cold winter’s day to encourage wellness and health promotion in the small community of Klipheuwel earlier this month.
Nursing students Cayla Mortemore (seated) and Ankia Lombard (standing) attending to a patient’s health at Klipheuwel.
This engagement formed part of the student’s community development and engagement studies which involves building trust, conducting a needs analysis, and health, wellness and wellbeing promotion, among other things.
The outreach was facilitated by the students - from the Community Health Sciences Faculty (CHS) - who were led by coordinators Ankia Lombard, Danielle Campbell and Cayla Mortemore. UWC is an engaged university, and therefore, expanding its footprint to the surrounding areas forms part of the University’s Institutional Operational Plan 2016-2020 (IOP).
This engagement came about after it was identified that access to basic services and health is the biggest challenge for historically disadvantaged communities such as Klipheuwel.
“We are trying to bring healthcare to them. There are a lot of people who have high blood pressure and they don’t know that they have it. We try to catch it early, and our partnership with School of Natural medicine is beneficial,” said Lombard. “It benefits us as students as we also get our clinical hours. We need to counsel a certain number of people, so it helps us and helps them too in the process.” Lombard.
CHS students offered services ranging from Phytotherapy to Tuberculosis. In addition, the students ran a soup kitchen and distributed beanies to fight off the cold.
“We appreciate what these students are doing in this community, because there are limited health services here. There is only one nursing sister service in our area, and it can be overwhelming for her sometimes,” said Sis Nobantu, a community member.This was a pilot project on the part of the CHS students, and they hope to sustain this service to Klipheuwel community. Klipheuwel is a village of about 2,300 people, with a diverse racial mix of White, Black, Coloured, Indian and Asian people situated 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Durbanville, in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Next month, on 18 July 2019, the entire faculty (staff & students) will be doing wellness and health promotion at Fisantekraal for Mandela Day.