Two of Samsung’s Solar Powered Health Centres have set camp next to Oasis Itsoseng Community Clinic in Cosmo City in South Africa. The Solar Health Centres are providing members of the community with a variety of eye,ear, blood, dental and pre-and post-anatl screenings and treatments.
Samsung employees were assisting with the logistics as they collected statistical data as part of their annual employee volunteer programme while Medical doctors from the University of Limpopo’s Medunsa campus examined and treated patients.
As part of their CSR goal, Samsung has set itself to reaching one million people through its Solar Powered Health Centres by 2015.
This Solar mobile units are specifically made for the use in rural and under-serviced areas. The main aim in bringing up this units is to eliminate the economic and the geographic barriers that hinder people from across Africa from accessing quality medical treatment.
“Today, we are seeing an innovation we’ve worked hard on developing come to life, and it is very exciting”, says Kea’ Modimoeng, Public Affairs and Common Shared Value Manager at Samsung Electronics Africa. “Good health is at the centre of one’s wellbeing, and impacts society at a fundamental level. It affects a child’s ability to learn at full potential, and an adult’s ability to provide for their family. This is why we have complemented our strong focus on education with a focus on quality healthcare.”
The Solar Powered Health Centre model was launched in March this year at Samsung Africa Forum, the outreach in Cosmo City marks the first time it has been made accessible to the public. It also marks the launch of the ‘Mother and Child’ edition of the unit, which is specifically designed to provide medical services to mothers and their babies.
The World Bank says that more than 60 percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas and 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.
Mounted on a truck and manned by qualified medical professionals, the Solar Powered Health Centres move from one area to the next, providing a range of medical services to the public. Their focus will be placed on screening people to establish common conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay and cataracts. The centres will also educate communities about health issues and encouraging them to take tests as preventative measure.
“The challenge regarding healthcare in South Africa is not only access to a physical clinic, but also access to alternative treatments” says Dr Pagollang Motloba, a dentist from Medunsa.
Samsung has shifted from focusing on ‘corporate social responsibility’, which is underlined by corporate accountability towards a new approach driven by the desire to create ‘Common Shared Value’, and underlined by both profit maximisation and improving people’s lives. This means that all of its education, health and community development programs will serve a dual purpose: supporting the company’s business goals through the development of a skilled, healthy workforce and consumer base, while at the same time improving the lives of people in Africa.
A very noble move from Samsung, indeed the health situation in the continent, most especially in the rural areas is wanting, however they should also start programs on healthy and hygienic leaving in those areas as they are the main things that cause diseases as well as deaths.