Health train rolls back into town

EYE CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW: Optometrist Farah Mitha tests Nosisi Gwayi, 65, from Joe Slovo, for new glasses at the Swartkops station as part of the Phelophepa Health Train outreach programme. The train will be stationed at Swartkops until February 6
EYE CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW: Optometrist Farah Mitha tests Nosisi Gwayi, 65, from Joe Slovo, for new glasses at the Swartkops station as part of the Phelophepa Health Train outreach programme. The train will be stationed at Swartkops until February 6

Phelophepa’s mobile services bring hope for residents

Bright eyes and broad smiles will be a common sight in Swartkops over the next two weeks as Nelson Mandela Bay residents flock to the Transnet Foundation’s mobile healthcare facility at its first stop for the year.

On its arrival on Sunday, hundreds of people started camping out at the train station so they could be first in line when the Phelophepa Health Train opened its doors yesterday morning.

“When we saw the number of people waiting for us as we arrived on Sunday we realised once again how important the services are that we provide,” Phelophepa manager Onke Mazibuko said.

The train provides primary healthcare services like community clinics, eye and dental clinics, and pharmacies, with volunteers and students in each of these fields assisting patients without medical aid.

“The Phelophepa 2 was here last year, but this train, which has been operational since 1994, last visited Swartkops in 2012. This station proved to be one of our busiest stops in the country, showing the need for our services,” Mazibuko said.

This is the health train’s first stop for 2015, and hundreds of people were sitting on black plastic chairs, under Transnetbranded awnings, waiting for medical attention.

– Riaan Marais 

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