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Prestigious "Investing in the future" award goes to Unjani Clinics

Imperial Unjani Clinics

Imperial's Unjani Clinics initiative won the “Health Category Award” at the recent “Investing in the Future & Drivers of Change Awards”, which are hosted by the Mail & Guardian and the Southern Africa Trust.

This annual event is aimed at recognising good corporate citizenship, and Imperial was honoured for the women empowerment focus of its project, reveals Imperial Health Sciences managing director Dr Iain Barton.

He notes that when Imperial launched this initiative in 2010, it became the first private sector organisation in South Africa to start a primary healthcare network that is run and owned by professional nurses. Nineteen clinics have since been set up in areas that include Kwaggafontein (Mpumulunga), Orange Farm, (Southern Gauteng), Tembisa (Ekurhuleni) and Winterveld (Tshwane), in response to the widely recognised need to transform healthcare delivery in underserved areas like these, he says.

“Providing appropriate, accessible and affordable healthcare is an ongoing challenge in South Africa. Unjani Clinics have to date delivered their primary healthcare services to more than 80 000 people. They engage with the lower-income population as customers, offering them access to primary health care, essential medicines and education in their communities at prices that they can afford,” he expands.

“This initiative has real potential to improve healthcare outcomes in South Africa, and, at the same time, it is empowering black women by creating entrepreneurial opportunities for professional nurses,” Barton concludes.