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Community Engagement

Alexandra Health Centre and University Clinic

The Alexander Health Centre (AHC) is a non-governmental organisation situated in the Alexandra township in the Gauteng province. The AHC is funded by the provincial government, donors and charitable organizations. This health centre serves a population that has rapidly increased over the past four years from 250 000 to approximately 500 000 people. The services provided include diagnosis and treatment of acute ailments, antenatal delivery and postnatal care, growth monitoring and immunization, family planning, outreach services in occupational health, school health and home visits for the elderly, the disabled and chronically ill.

The nature of services and facilities the AHC and the Alex community offers a conducive, multi-disciplinary environment for community-based teaching and learning for our students in the undergraduate programme. First year nursing students are allocated to the AHC and the Alex community for orientation to community health issues, environmental health and community assessment during the first six months of their PBL/CBE curriculum. Fourth year nursing students learn and deliver (supervised) services in relation to midwifery, women s health and maternal and child health.

The AHC has served the Alex community for 70 years. It continues to play a significant role in developing communities own resource people and in the training of PHC clinicians for comprehensive health care at district level.

The Muldersdrift Health Development Programme

For over thirty years, the Muldersdrift Health Development Programme on the West Rand has been providing much needed health care and community service to an estimate of 35 000 people in the undeserved, semi-rural area of Muldersdrift. It was initiated by volunteer staff and students from the Faculty of Health Sciences and has since then, developed into a community based education site for students from the Faculty and from the Department of Nursing Education in particular. The Primary Health Care service which operates from the Muldersdrift clinic is offered jointly by the University and the Gauteng Department of Health. The community development arm of this programme is a partnership between the community and the Wits nurses. Community development projects are funded mainly by donations and sustained through a variety of teaching, learning and development activities by the community and the staff and students from the Department of Nursing Education.

Projects are needs driven and assist in engendering ongoing social responsiveness in our graduates. Together with the community, several projects have been initiated and sustained. Some successful community development activities include the:

  • Sewing group which generates income for women from the community and also serves to develop sewing skills in young women. A local business and a major newspaper group have contributed to its growth and success.
  • Vegetable garden project which was initiated by the first year B. Nursing students and by unemployed community members as a food source for some and as an income for others, now managed by members from Aganang Home Based Care Senior Citizens Project to meet the socio-economic needs of the frail and elderly in the community.
    Youth project which encompasses a variety of activities for the youth development e.g. The Star School holiday programme, soccer development team and the drum majorette group with its main aim as HIV/AIDS education through appropriate cultural activities.
  • Sunrise Nursery School which provides day care for 45 preschool children and teaches basic child care to mothers and childminders. Taken over by Thusang Pre School 6 ½ months to 5 years old.
  • Muldersdrift library which serves as an information resource to school children and adults in the community.
  • Road safety project in conjunction with the Department of Education and the Traffic Department has been initiated in response to the high pedestrian accident rate among school children.
  • Feeding scheme which is facilitated through the Union church and Nestle SA serves to feed the needy in the Muldersdrift community.
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