Witkoppen Centre profile

According to the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), residents of informal settlements are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Latent Tuberculosis, or TB, affects 88% of 30 to 39-year-old individuals living in these areas. Quality and efficient healthcare is a luxury that most South Africans living in townships cannot afford. Non-profit organisation Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre, situated in Fourways, Johannesburg, aims to do their part to change this.
 
“Our Centre aims to provide quality healthcare services to those living in the Kya Sands, Diepsloot and surrounding areas,” says Executive Director of the Centre, Jean Bassett. “People living in these areas should have equal access to affordable healthcare. At Witkoppen, we strive to provide our patients with comprehensive service regardless of nationality, race or gender.”
 
The privately run, donor-funded organisation assists more than 8 500 patients per month. The Centre provides a range of services, including HIV and TB testing, antenatal care, a mental health clinic, dentist, as well as the opportunity to consult qualified doctors, nurses, psychologists and pharmacists. A patient’s first visit is free. Following that, they need only pay R70 per appointment. Many patients are willing to pay the nominal fee to ensure that they get access to the healthcare they need.
 
“We make sure that all our patients are cared for by our staff. Our counsellors are well trained and treat each patient with the dignity they deserve,” says Bassett. “When patients experience efficient and friendly service, they are more likely to return to our facility because they feel cared for.”
 
Their male-friendly clinic, Mvuselelo, was opened in 2018, after a study done by the Centre showed that men wanted to be treated by an all-male staff. The clinic was designed for men by men and encourages males in the area to speak up about health issues pertaining to their gender.
 
Started in 1947 by three nurses as a feeding scheme, the Centre aimed to combat the lack of health and welfare facilities in the area. In the early 2000s, it was one of the first clinics in South Africa to offer antiretroviral treatment.
 
For more information on the services they provide, visit www.witkoppen.org. Interesting facts and service updates can be found on Facebook (@WitkoppenHealthandWelfareCentre) and Twitter (@Witkoppen105). 
 
Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:
Kyra Frank
kyra@be-cause.co.za
021 447 1082 / 073 1199200
 
On behalf of Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre:
Director: Dr Jean Bassett 

Date published: 
Monday, 13 May, 2019
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