Our Clinic Staff

On Average, we see about 40 patients a day in our clinc at Zandspruit.

The Clinic

Patients can schedule appointments to limit their waiting time.

Educating Patients

Calsses are held daily to assist our patients in achieving healthier lifestyles.

Our Community Garden

Ladies within the community tend to our gardens. The produce is sold to local businesses.

Its all go! The start of our baseline surveys in Zandspruit

The last couple of weeks have been hectically busy for Project HOPE South Africa. I have been looking forward to this for a long time – finally getting to dig down deeper into the community of Zandspruit and sit in people’s home and learn about what the community’s perception is on good health and barriers to good clinical care in the community.
The idea of our baseline survey is to get a good understanding of the community's awareness on the chronic diseases such as diabetes and to collect some prevalence data such as blood pressure and BMI before our activities launch. This will help us to measure the project's impact over time.
 Project HOPE South Africa has formalised a partnership with Project HOPE Mexico to provide technical assistance on this project and it was great to have Courtney Guthreau our Global Diabetes Specialist come and participate in this whole process her team will be helping us develop the training materials that we use in the future.

I was able to interview and hire 20 young residents from Zandspruit to help with this process. Hardly any of them had any real understanding of what diabetes and high blood pressure was, and few had done any sort of surveying before. We spent the first day training on how to undertake a survey and had great fun learning how to weigh each other and take each other’s blood pressure.

Each morning we assembled at our base at Emthonjeni Community Centre had a quick briefing and then armed with our Project HOPE bags full of survey forms, tape measure, scales and blood pressure machine and packed lunches we split into pairs and went to one of the 10 recognised sections in Zandspruit to begin surveying.
Because this is part of a formal research project that we are conducting with the University of Pretoria we had to take a random sample of the community so we used dice to choose which home we would visit!  We would go to a predetermined starting point, get our clip boards out and roll our dice to see if we would sample on the left or right side and then roll again to see which home we would stop at.
For me it was the first time that I had visited certain parts of the community and was taken aback with the numbers of people that are crammed into such a small area and the lack of any real infrastructure. The smell of sewage was in some places very strong running down the middle of dirt paths. A common complaint when talking to people was the issue of access to health care – having to wait for such a long time to be seen by a nurse puts a lot of people off from going to the clinic as well as the lack of money to buy healthier food due to high unemployment rates. Poor living conditions also came up lots.
Yet in the middle of these difficult living conditions you find a people that are very resilient, up-beat and wanting to improve themselves.
Although our results won’t be published for a few weeks, informally we can say that the vast majority of 400 people we interviewed were overweight (a key risk factor for developing diabetes) and many had high blood pressure. We found that a number of people were "tired" a symptom of poor diabetes control, some had lost strength in their hands and feet, some had eye problems and other headaches. All these are symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure.
With only 15% of diabetes cases being diagnosed it is so important that the community becomes more aware of these diseases and empowered to make choices that improve their health and productivity.

Please check back for regular updates now. We still have our clinic assessment to undertake tomorrow and then another big survey in a neighbouring township this month to conclude all our baseline work.
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