Hochland 154 has set a target to make this year’s Medic RUSH, which stands for Rural Upliftment and Social Healthcare, the best one yet. The project was started all the way back in 2008 by previous members of Hochland 154, but it is still a project our Table is very proud of and one we’ve been able to improve on every year, this year being no exception!
On a late morning, 9 May 2018, 12 cars set out on the journey to impoverished and many times forgotten San communities living on communal farms east of the Namibian Etosha National Park. This was the 11th year a group of Tablers with families, sponsors, doctors and Norwegian nurses make the trip to a rural area of Namibia reaching out to those communities who need it most.
Not to change a formular which works, we got an early start on 10 May 2018, with the first clinic for the RUSH on farm Ondera which is home to around 120 households. Every single person who visited the clinic first goes through our screening team where the nurses and volunteers take a full history of the patient, blood pressure, sugar levels and a few other important parameters the doctors may need. Then the patient sees a doctor who carries out a consultation and, if need be, make referrals to specialists or write prescriptions for the patients visiting our clinics. Additionally, this year we also had two eye specialists coming along. They could identify and hand out reading glasses to some smiling members of the community and also identify candidates for possible cataract operations later in the year. When done with the doctors the patients could visit our fully stocked pharmacy to pick up their new or existing prescriptions, those with children or older patients could also get a blanket and hygienic products to take home. At Onderawe were able to see 269 patients.
The next day, 11 May 2018, we traveled much further to the 120 families in the Bravo San community which is beyond the red line. With small long-drop toilet and one small church hall we were able to put up a clinic as well as a smile on 198 patients who could all go through the clinic.
The last day 12 May 2018, with a few tired bodies, we hosted our last planned clinic at Ombili which is home to around 500 San people. The highlight of this day was the delivery of a baby boy, the first baby delivered on a Medic RUSH. Even though the medication ran low near the end, we still had a great team spirit and we were able to help 218 patients which brought the total patients seen for 2018 to 685.
The ladies of Hochland 154 decided that they would not be outdone this year and ran parallel to the clinics a project called Sister Pads. A great initiative to reach girls of a school going age and supply them with reusable sanitary pads to help at a tender age where not having access to this could mean missing school or withdrawing themselves from the community. The ladies not only organized 150 pads to take along and hand out but also went on training on how to cut and sew reusable pads. Each day they trained 2 ladies from the communities to make pads for the girls and other women of the communities long after we leave.
A project of this magnitude and 12 years of success needs support from all sides. Having a sponsor like NamPower on board meant we could plan big and do it right, not one patient vising the clinic had to pay one cent, every person was seen by a qualified team of specialists, picked up their medication and many other much needed items. We could even assist with some emergency healthcare when a game fencing accident cut close to an eye or deliver a baby in the house of one of the local woman. From our side, we want to thank NamPower and express our gratitude for having a corporate like NamPowerinvolved year after year. Your support is essential to make a project like this a success!
The people going along on a project like this is crucial and the 2018 team was superb in all aspects. We had 16 doctors and 10 nurses all young and energetic stepping in and helping without anything expected in return, giving valuable time to a community which would not otherwise have access to a team like this in their own village. A group of 24 Tablers, family, 41ers and guests all stepping in to help from setting up, making food, managing the clinics to the most important “Kamp atmosfeer” team, this is what Tabling is about!
2018 Medic RUSH was a massive success with Hochland 154 looking, not only at how we can keep this winning formula going, but also expand on it. Watch this space to find out about the clinic we built this year and plans for 2019.
Basson van Rooyen