"If the people cannot get to health services then the health services must get to the people"

This was the philosophy behind the innovation of the world's first containerised primary health care unit by Gift of the Givers Foundation in 1994. Cost effective, all weather proof, low maintenance, easily transportable, rapidly deployed, aesthetically acceptable and conveniently accessible. This was the rationale behind this practically relevant innovation which led to efficient utilisation by rural masses in South Africa.

Deploying the prototype in PARTNERSHIP with the South African Government in January 1995, in Kwa Pata, Edendale, Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu Natal), 20 such units were deployed in a 10 year period in various parts of South Africa, collectively averaging 500 000 patients per year. Services include minor ailments, immunisations, integrated management of childhood infections, wound treatments, burn care, screening for hypertension and diabetes, pap smears, antenatal care, counselling services, specialist psychiatric care for the elderly, TB patient follow up and a range of primary care services.

Other units include Alexandra, Tembisa (3), Atteridgeville, Kagiso, Eikenhof, Koolfontein, Ratanda, Rietvallei, Tarlton, Zenzele and Badirile (Gauteng); Botshabelo (Free State); Emfundweni (KwaZulu Natal); Riemvasmaak, Holpan and Barkley West(2) (Northern Cape).

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