In our area, the nearest clinic or hospital is a difficult and dangerous day-long journey away. As a result of this inaccessible care, the health of our community has been severely compromised. So many people have been sick and dying needlessly from preventable and treatable health issues.
Ten years ago we opened our Health Point to provide health care to our communities in the Xhora Mouth Administrative Area. The project first operated as a centralised location for distributing ARVs, providing HIV testing, and a venue to host mobile health clinics. With its success and need in our community, we continued to strengthen our partnership with the Department of Health (DoH) to expand the capacity of our Health Point. Today, the Bulungula Health Point operates as a fixed outreach point for Nkanya Clinic.
Open six days a week, the Bulungula Health Point is staffed by two professional nurses who provide primary health care services including: child nutrition and health, maternal and neonatal health, sexual and reproductive health, dentistry, immunisations (including weekly COVID vaccinations), mental health support, HIV testing, ARV distribution, noncommunicable disease support, and acute and minor ailment care. Any patients with conditions or issues that are out of our capacity are referred to the hospital. We ensure that community members are accessing the services through our Nomakhayas (community health workers) who refer patients during routine home visits. We provide care to over 450 patients each month.
Last year, the Bulungula Health Point made huge advancements with the Department of Health, becoming an accredited COVID vaccination site, setting up a solar power cold-chain system to keep immunisations, and using the centralised dispensing system (CCMDD) for ARV distribution. With this strengthened partnership, the DoH now staffs one of our nurses, and we are continuing discussions of expansion in renovations to equip our site with emergency and maternity rooms, doctors rooms, a waiting room, and pharmacy.