Durban – President Jacob Zuma and KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo on Monday took health services to one of the most deprived wards in rural KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma, along with other government leaders, visited Ward 6 in eMakhabeleni, Umzinyathi to meet with the community about their needs, of which primary healthcare is a major one.
There is a high unemployment rate in the area, which contributes to poor health outcomes, low levels of education and a highly underdeveloped environment.
In his address, Zuma encouraged the community to contact the Department of Rural Development about their challenges and issues. He said the department was created specifically for this reason.
But he asked that they also go to the department with some self-enrichment programs – in this way government could meet them half way.
The President touched on several issues – among them teenage pregnancy, leading an active lifestyle, and the importance of prevention of TB and HIV infections. He said all government officials from local to national level must continue to deliver services on time, so that places like eMakhabeleni move towards a higher standard of living.
The MEC said a lack of electricity and water still affected the area and people complained it was too far to travel to other villages. They said infrastructure development, including the building of bridges, would assist in this regard.
Dhlomo stressed the important of primary health care in rural areas. He said ideally he wanted to see all families tested for various ailments, as this would help developing communities effectively.
Hundreds of people received medical attention in the form of family planning, immunization for children and TB and HIV screening among other services during the event.
Source: BuaNews – Kemantha Govender – 3 Dec 2012