Electronics Company Africa today launched a Solar Powered Health Centre model at its 2013 Samsung Africa Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. The move marks a step towards a large-scale medical initiative on the continent.
According to Samsung ,the mobile centres are built for use in remote rural areas, and aim at eliminating the economic and geographic barriers that prevent people across Africa from obtaining quality medical treatment.
The centres will move progressively from one area to the next providing a range of eye, ear, blood and dental medical services to the public.
A report by World Bank shows that, more than 60% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas. These people often lack the time and resources to reach clinics for proactive medical care, and particularly if they are ill and unable to make long journeys. In South Africa, only approximately 20% of the population is served by private medical schemes, with the public health sector struggling to cater to the remaining 80% of the population
Ntulule Tshenye,The Business-to-Government and Corporate Citizenship Lead for Samsung Africa says, “We have been providing medical services to rural areas in Africa for a few years now through our annual Employee Volunteer Programmes.This experience has shown us how desperately medical treatment is needed across the continent, and inspired us to develop a sustainable and innovative solution to reach the people who need it most. While our CSR strategy in Africa is largely focused on education, our efforts to enrich lives will not be felt if people’s basic needs, such as access to healthcare, are not met.”
Samsung therefore seeks to reach one million people through its Solar Powered Health Centres by 2015.
The core activities of the initiative will include screening people to establish conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay and cataracts.
In addition, the centres will educate communities on health issues and encouraging people to do tests as preventative measure. Samsung’s partners will provide medical products to support this project, including the Department of Health and pharmaceutical companies. The company will also work with medical universities, and organisations that are involved in health care like World Vision, and Doctors without Borders.