TB and HIV/AIDS have been destroying communities in rural South Africa. In the Bushbuckridge area of the Mpumalanga province in the east, an estimated 20% of the 500,000 population is HIV positive, with limited access to health services.Around 10 years ago, Virgin staff at the Ulusaba Private Game Reserve were struggling to get access to any treatment for HIV/AIDS as there was no healthcare available in the area. After sadly losing a team-member, Donald, Virgin pledged it would do everything it could to never again lose anyone from its family to AIDS. Before he died, Donald had written to the rest of the staff urging them to get tested and to get treatment. And so the Bhubezi Community Healthcare Centre was created by Virgin Unite, Anglo Coal, Pepfar and Dr Hugo Templeman.
The centre is a public-private partnership and provides a one-stop clinic for basic healthcare, Tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS care. It provides services on a sliding-scale fee basis as well as free diagnosis and treatment for those suffering from HIV/AIDS or TB. The centre serves the local community—including the families and staff members of Ulusaba and Anglo Coal.
Since opening, the Bhubezi Health Centre has seen more than 300,000 patients and preliminary research shows that it has extended the life of the people in that area by approximately five years. The clinic has transformed the way Ulusaba provides healthcare to its employees and their families during a time when thousands of people were dying each day due to lack of access to treatment. The centre also employs 51 people from the local area, including three doctors.
The South African government is backing the clinic to ensure its long-term impact, demonstrating the power of a strong partnership between businesses, governments and the local community to save lives.
Dutch Postcode Lotterij
Ndlovu Care Group
PEPFARSouth African Government
You can read more about the centre here.