Matla A Bokone Solar’s School Health Programme has kicked off, and is set to benefit 4129 learners, across eleven schools, within the Sol Plaatje Local Municipality. This initiative is an ideal example of how a Public-Private-Partnership can work to benefit communities, as the programme is aligned to the Department of Education’s Integrated School Health Policy.
The Programme will be implemented by the Mobile Health Clinics Foundation across eight primary and three high schools, in two phases. The first phase includes the COVID 19 Hygiene Awareness and Stigma Mitigation Screenings, and COVID 19 Screenings; whilst phase 2 focuses on the Integrated School Health Screenings.
“We believe that access to quality healthcare for school children is very important, as it also contributes towards their development, increases their knowledge and awareness on health issues, helps them in developing interest in their own health and contributes to their general wellbeing,” explained Nomzamo Landingwe, Chief Community Operations Officer for Matla A Bokone, which funds this initiative as part of its solar project’s Socio-Economic Development Programme.
The health team will consist of a health coach, professional nurse, an optometrist, and a dental therapist, to provide Vision and Hearing Testing; Oral Health Screening; Nutritional Status Assessments and Health Education initiatives.
Learners with poor eyesight, who require corrective eyewear, will be supplied by Mobile Health Clinics, and similarly, learners with poor hearing will be referred for assistive hearing devices through the provincial Department of Health.
“The mobile school health clinic eases the burden on the Department of Education whilst supplementing resources, and furthermore, the screening data can be immediately collated,” said Principal Isaac Ruiter, Montshiwa Primary School, Galeshewe, Kimberley.
The Department of Health has provided COVID-19 training to eight youth, (aged 19 – 25), to assist with the COVID 19 screening. All candidates come from the Sol Plaatje area and have been employed in consultation with the participating schools.
Representatives from the Provincial Departments attended the inauguration, to endorse the programme that commenced on 08 October 2020.
75MW Matla A Bokone Solar, is located near Kimberley, in the Northern Cape Province, and is one of South Africa’s largest solar PV projects, generating an estimated 180 000 MWh each year. During its 20-year operations period, this solar plant will positively impact communities in the Sol Plaatje Municipal area, including Barkly West, Riverton and Kimberley.
Matla A Bokone Solar is owned by IDEAS Fund managed by Old Mutual (SA) Ltd, Reatile Solar Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd, Phakwe Solar (RF) (Pty) Ltd, AREP (African Rainbow Energy and Power), and Cicada Community Trust.
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