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.

Vegetable Gardens

Drew Wallace, a volunteer from the US posts his final blog before going back home...

Time goes by way to fast. It feels like I just got here in South Africa, and already its three weeks later and I’m leaving. I’ve learned so much while here, it’s been an experience completely unlike anything I have ever done before. My whole life has been spent inside the U.S. and this is the first time I have ever been outside that shell of American middle class comfort. As much as Project HOPE and South Africa has given me in terms of experience and unfailing hospitality, I hope I was able to give back just as much of my time and effort to help get the HOPE center ready to see patients, and start to make a positive impact in this community.

While here, I was able to finish up a few different types of gardens, and make instruction booklets for each one. With luck and a little sunshine, the plants will take root and grow, and start producing healthy foods, and maybe inspire some of the HOPE center’s patients to try making their own gardens, and be able to eat a little healthier, and manage their conditions a little better. I wish I could stay around just a few weeks longer, and get to see the fruits of our labor here in South Africa, see the first patients walk through the doors of the clinic, hopefully see the first vegetable gardens start to pop up in the township, but life and school gets in the way, as it so often does.

Anyways, so long South Africa, I hardly knew ya but you taught me so much, I hope I was able to give a little back. Maybe someday I can return, time willing. I know I certainly want to.

 Project HOPE is an amazing organization, and I’m proud and ever grateful that I got the opportunity to volunteer with them. I’m certain that they will make a gigantic impact for the better in this community and I wish them all the best in the future operations of the HOPE center.        

Thanks Drew for all your hard work! If anyone would like to come and volunteer with Project HOPE here in South Africa please contact me on slawson@projecthope.org

Cosmo City Screening Day

Drew Wallace, a volunteer from the US, blogs about his first screening event in Cosmo City...

 One of the biggest problems with chronic disease care in Africa is the lack of diagnosis. Most people with diabetes don’t know they have it until they start to develop acute symptoms, blindness, foot ulcers, etc. What we are trying to accomplish with screening days is to identify people who are diabetic and pre-diabetic before they start to exhibit symptoms, so that they can then manage their condition, and never develop some of the problems that arise when diabetes and high blood pressure go too long undetected. At the screening day, people take about 5 minutes to get tested, and if their results show they have diabetes or high blood pressure, we can refer them to a free government clinic to receive treatment or to our  own HOPE Centre Clinic, which ever is closer for them to get to.
One of the great things about South African health care is that medicine is provided free by the government, but the diagnosis and management system is woefully underdeveloped. To highlight this of the 110 people we screened in Cosmo City we found over 50% of people were either overweight or obese which increases their risk of developing diabetes, and 70% of people had hypertension. We also were able to diagnose 7 people with diabetes who came to us with dangerously high blood glucose levels.

Hopefully, through screening events like this we can get more people to be aware of their conditions, and encourage them to stick with their treatment plans, to live healthy and full lives.

First Impressions - Blog from Volunteer Drew Wallace

Drew Wallace, a volunteer from Virginia, USA is here in South Africa for the first time helping Project HOPE South Africa set up its nutrition program as part of the HOPE Centre project. Here is a blog about his first impressions....

So I guess it would be appropriate to start off with a bit about me. This August, I’m going to be a sophomore at The College of William and Mary (Go Tribe!), majoring in International Relations, with a minor in premed focused kinesiology.  I have always been interested in global health and wellness around the world, but in all my 19 years of life, I have never been outside of the continental United States. Sooner or later, this would need to change if I wanted to pursue my dream of helping people around the world lead healthy lives, so I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer with Project HOPE South Africa.

When people think of health problems in Africa, they generally think of infectious diseases, HIV, Malaria, etc. but in actuality, Africa, most specifically South Africa, has the world’s fastest growing diabetic population, and diabetes, as well as the heart conditions associated with diabetes and an unhealthy lifestyle, is the leading cause of death in South Africa. What Project HOPE South Africa is trying to do is establish comprehensive, across the board care for diabetic and hypertensive patients in Johannesburg’s poorest neighborhoods. My role more specifically, is to help develop a nutrition and exercise program, trying to get more people to grow their own vegetables to supplement their diet, and replace fried meats and starches, as well as get out and exercise in the very limited space they have.

Getting off the plane after a 15 hour flight, your mind really doesn’t register that you are now in South Africa, the airport could be in any metropolitan area in the United States, there are no giraffes, no zebras, no lions, just a typical airport terminal. Large parts of Johannesburg would fit in most anywhere in the first world, if not for the ever-present security fences and armed response signs, a constant reminder to this isn’t the suburban Virginia I’m so used to. The contrast becomes even more apparent when you get into the townships, informal settlements like the one the Project HOPE office is located in. South Africa, especially Johannesburg is a country with intense dichotomy, on one side of the road you could have a first world shopping center or a beautiful golf course, on the other side, a village of corrugated metal shacks crammed together along narrow unpaved allies.

The challenge now is to show families how they can grow healthy food in the limited space they have, in order to manage their diabetes. To do this we will be building a variety of demo gardens, and putting together instructions on how to build them, so that diabetic patients can better manage their condition with proper exercise and nutrition. I’m really excited for this opportunity to help out, and hope the new clinic can make a great positive impact on the community!