New health comittee for Rocklands clinic

Pictured standing, from left, are Tania Arendorf, Rocklands Clinic clerk; Sarelle Abrahams, from Rocklands; Rocklands health committee deputy secretary Nadia Ackers; treasurer Dianne Poggenpoel; secretary Laa-iekah Johnson; Yvonne Hill, from Westgate; additional member Mavis Manter and Amina Cupido, clinic manager. In front are chairperson Nazley Fredericks and deputy chairperson Peter Roman.

Rocklands clinic now has a community health committee, which has pledged to be the watchdog of the community and ensure that clinics and other community health centres are run effectively.

Fundiswa Kibido, from UCT’s Public Health Family Medicine, Health and Human Rights Programme, attended the electoral meeting at Rocklands clinic on Thursday September 1 and informed them of their constitutional right to health.

Her department believes that empowering local communities to participate in the running of their health facilities can equip the community members to make decisions that affect their lives and well-being at health facilities.

Legislation makes provision for health committees to exist at all primary health care facilities in South Africa.

It includes the facility manager, ward councillor and residents of the area the clinic serves.

“As part of a health governance structure, you have an oversight function within the health facility – to promote accountability through the monitoring of health service delivery, participate in complaint management activities, promote community participation in health and an advocacy role,” she said.

The department offers health committee members training in meaningful participation in health; how systems work and the role of the health committee; creating an effective committee; human rights and health; and leadership and power dynamics.

Ms Kibido said members should remember it is a voluntary position, with the community’s interests at heart.

Recently elected chairperson Nazley Fredericks said, as representatives of their community, they should know what was going on in their areas and patients should feel comfortable in approaching them for help.

“Similarly we share information about diseases and services with them,” she said.

* Rocklands health committee will be meeting on Wednesday September 14, at 9am. Residents are welcome to attend. For more information, call Ms Fredericks on 072 359 8899.