Ikamva Labantu believes that the Centre will be a best practice model for promoting health and wellness in impoverished communities, by providing services that address the unique needs of South Africa’s townships.
The Enkululekweni Wellness Centre will act as an all-encompassing preventative health care destination, promoting and educating caregivers and their beneficiaries about health-conscious behaviour, disease prevention and the vital role of nutrition, even with limited means. It will not only offer much-needed basic health care support but also the opportunity to impart skills and knowledge that lead to independency and self-sufficiency.
"By incorporating a wide range of services and activities, and collaborating with other NGO’s and partners to deliver basic health services, dispense medication and offer patient referrals, the Centre will serve as a prototype for community health promotion, education, awareness and preventative health. It’s a prime example of what the Western Cape Provincial Government refers to as Health Care 2020," says Janine van Stolk, Ikamva Labantu’s Director.
Western Cape Health Minister, Theuns Botha, recently explained his Department’s vision for Health Care 2020: "It is clear that there will be a shift away from government carrying all the responsibility for the health of its citizens, but that individuals will be encouraged and challenged to take responsibility for their own health. Health and wellness is an all-encompassing state, and as a government it is our duty to ensure the efficient implementation of strategies and plans towards that goal. I believe that the path of wellness we have chosen is a path that challenges us, but it will lead to transformation towards a better life and action a healthier society with a higher level of satisfaction by patients due to a more pleasant experience."
Absa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos, who is also a member of Ikamva Labantu’s Board of Protectors, said in her keynote address that the Enkululekweni Wellness Centre epitomised the empowerment of communities to promote wellness and stop the prevalence avoidable illnesses.
"This fantastic centre is a dream come true," says Ramos. "It is a beautiful Wellness Centre for the disadvantaged community of Khayelitsha. Empowering communities to embrace preventative health as opposed to struggling with avoidable chronic and acute health problems is the key to ‘moving the dial’ in the public health sector. Giving people a chance to improve their health and well being is the first step in enabling them to look after their families and to change their circumstances for the better."
Other guests of honour included Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Gaynor Rupert (Chairperson of Ikamva Labantu’s Board of Protectors), Richard van Rensburg (Chairman of Ikamva Labantu’s Board of Trustees) and several community leaders.
In September 2011, Helen Lieberman was invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York where she announced the launch of the Enkululekweni Wellness Centre, as well as the launch of an Early Childhood Development Training & Resource Centre, as part of Ikamva Labantu’s CGI commitment to health and education development in South Africa. Ikamva Labantu’s Early Childhood Development Centre is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2012.
For more information about Ikamva Labantu, visit www.ikamva.org.za