ArcelorMittal South Africa Unveils Special HIV/AIDS Medical Centre
With the capacity to treat around 279 patients daily, 1395 patients weekly, 5580 patients monthly and 66,960 per year, the Reamohetse Wellness Centre will address the lack of adequate healthcare available for the disadvantaged communities residing in the Vaal Triangle.
The 13m ZAR (US$ 1.3m) centre is being hailed by observers and press as “a critical social intervention.” ArcelorMittal South Africa donated the specialized medical facility to the community, which was built using the company’s steel, including structural grades and Arval roofing solutions. The integrated design approach used to build is the same as our South Africa operations were recognized for with a SAISC steel award in the category of community development in 2010.
This approach offers numerous environmental advantages; the steel and other material used in the building is well insulated and energy-efficient, has reduced carbon emissions and is less labor intensive than traditional construction methods using masonry.
Gauteng minister of the executive council (MEC) for health, Hope Papo, was present at the official handover on 1 November along with members of the local community, the hospital’s management board and senior executives from ArcelorMittal South Africa. “The centre will fill a significant gap in meeting the growing demand for healthcare in South Africa due to an increasing population and significant burden of disease due to HIV/Aids and TB. It will also help us in fulfilling the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) mandate to have three million people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment by 2015,” he said.
According to the UNAIDS association statistics, 6.1 million South Africans are living with HIV/Aids and an increasing number are becoming infected each month with drug-resistant strains of TB.
Readied with funding from ArcelorMittal South Africa, the centre is equipped with the latest technology and much-needed qualified medical professionals including nurses, social workers, health promoters and counselors who will provide accessible integrated HIV and TB medical treatment and care, disease management advice and social, psychological and peer support services.
Further health services and responsibilities of the centre include advice for dietary plans, voluntary counseling and testing for HIV and TB, implementing educational awareness campaigns on HIV/Aids as well as TB prevention and management strategies for the community of Sebokeng and the surrounding areas.
The state-of-the-art wellness centre took 12 months to complete and created many employment opportunities along with providing specialised training on the installation of Arval panels and roofing for 36 workers from local contractor Mthembu-Mvelase Civil Projects.
The opening of the Raemohetse Wellness Centre follows the Mandela Park Primary School in Mthatha, Eastern Cape and the Meetse-A-Bophelo Primary School in Mamelodi, Pretoria East, built and handed over to the national minister of basic education in July this year and October 2010 respectively.