By DEBBIE SMUTS
Last Wednesday, the two Rotary Clubs in Makhanda partnered with the local Department of Health to provide a Wellness Day for the Salem community.
Held at the Salem Sports Club, the event consisted of a few stations set up by Department of Health staff offering various services, including blood pressure/TB/HIV/diabetes screening, immunisations for children, cervical cancer screening, nutritional assessment, and growth monitoring, family planning and pregnancy screening, Vitamin A supplementation and deworming, Covid vaccinations and eye testing. Optometrist Jenny Gopal did the eye testing.
For many rural residents, attending an event like this can mean a ‘one stop’ health check which may not have been possible given transport issues and lack of resources to get to health services in town. Over 70 farm dwellers from the Salem district attended the event and used the services.
In cases where more serious health issues were detected in the screenings, Department of Health staff could refer and counsel residents about where to go next for treatment.
Rotarians from the Rotary Clubs of Grahamstown and Grahamstown Sunset set up the day. Also, they brought donations of items to give to those attending the event. There were oranges from Peppergrove Pick’ n Pay, sanitary pads from the Kistefos Small Projects Foundation, toothpaste, and small snacks for the children. Everyone left the Wellness Day with something to take home.
President of the Grahamstown Sunset Rotary Club, Robyn Cooper, said the day’s success rested on a collaboration involving the two Rotary Clubs, the Department of Health, the Salem Sports Club, Pick n Pay and Jenny Gopal Optometrist.
“Working together really does produce great results. We are grateful to the professional Department of Health staff who provided the services, Jenny Gopal for doing the eye testing, and everyone who helped to make the day a success. This is the second time we’ve done an event like this at Salem, and we plan to do others in other rural areas around Makhanda in the future,” Cooper said.