The mobile dental clinic used during community outreaches.
The mobile dental clinic used during community outreaches.

UWC ’Caring for the Carers’ in Mitchells Plain

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Apr 15, 2021

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by Kristin Engel

Cape Town - UWC will be offering a variety of health services to 140 community rehabilitation and home-based care workers in Mitchells Plain between April 14 and 15, as part of their “Caring for the Carer” initiative.

The programme offers BMI checks, cholesterol screening, CDM screening, blood pressure tests, blood glucose HGT, TB symptom screening, breast examinations, vision (Snellen tests), diet and nutrition, physiotherapy and biokinetics, dentistry and oral health, natural medicine as well as legal education and awareness.

“Caring for the Carer” is led by Professor Firdouza Waggie, deputy dean of Clinical and Community Engagement and the director of the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU) in the Faculty of Community and Health Sciences (FCHS) and in partnership with the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Dentistry.

“These carers are at the front line of bringing health and wellness services to the communities and are major role players in preventing the spread of Covid-19 in communities.

“At the same time, we know that those who provide care to others as a carer, often fail to set aside the time and resources for their own self-care – and this engagement aims to address that,” said Waggie.

Associate lecturer, Claudia Swinny, in the IPEU and outreach co-ordinator for the FCHS said that during Covid-19 there has been a large focus on doctors and nurses but not much has been done for other carers on the front line, who are often the first contact for many in the community within the health and social care system.

Gaylene Abrahams, a facilitator at Arisen Women and beneficiary of the programme, said that it is extremely difficult to find the time to give their bodies the attention it needs, doing the long and laborious work they do.

“This outreach is such a generous gesture, I was able to get advice and medication that I didn’t have time to get before.”

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Cape Argus

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