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Equality and equal access to health care

- Wits University

A new clinic at Wits University’s Empilweni Services and Research Unit (ESRU) will provide high quality research, training and medical services.

A new clinic at Wits University’s Empilweni Services and Research Unit (ESRU) will provide high quality research, training and medical services. 

This multistorey complex in the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital is an addition to the existing Paediatrics Department at the hospital.

The clinic is led by Professor Ashraf Coovadia, who heads up the Empilweni Services and Research Unit as well as the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital. 

“The clinic was born out of a need to conduct clinical research in infectious disease,” Coovadia said at a function to thank the donors that include the South African Muslim Charitable Trust, the ELMA Foundation and the Department of Higher Education and Training. 

This R14-million clinic will: 

  • Serve the health needs of HIV-infected and affected infants, children and adolescents as well as women who are HIV infected.
  • Train undergraduate and postgraduate students in the disciplines of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Infectious Diseases, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine and more will benefit from such a centre.
  • Conduct clinical research.
  • Facilitate postgraduate training and qualifications.

The new clinic in the Empilweni Services and Research Unit recently opened in the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

Speaking at the function, Mark Heywood, the Executive Director of Section27, praised Coovadia for his vision and hard work that led to the clinic being build. 

Heywood acknowledged Coovadi’s dedication to bring about equality and equal access in the healthcare sector and said he is not only one of the best paediatricians in the country “but also a great activist. His love and professionalism extends beyond looking out for children and furthering research but also into the wider environment”.

Heywood said Coovadia has had a huge impact on child health care in South Africa, particularly around equality and equal access to health services. He played a significant role during the height of HIV/Aids-denialism in the country to ensure that children receive the care and treatment they need, and to help prevent mother-to-child-transmission. 

Heywood also commended the donors that are all South African institutions. “To see South African institutions willing to invest in this country’s future is important and humbling, and I think it sets the example.”

The new clinic in the Empilweni Services and Research Unit recently opened in the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

Coovadia and his colleagues envisage that the clinic will also become a centre of excellence and training for future generations of healthcare providers, public health specialists and researchers. 

The clinic will offer opportunities for collaboration across medical disciplines and universities both in South Africa and abroad. It will also be a resource to provincial and national health policy units because it will be a rich source of expertise and research.

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