#AdvancingChangeMoments: Shap’Left Ikamva Labantu – Meet Lulama Sikweza

What is #AdvancingChangeMoments?

With our #AdvancingChangeMoments we will be featuring special people whom we have met through our initiatives and collaborations with other NGOs and organisations and despite their circumstances have overcome incredible challenges and hardship.

On the 9th March in partnership with the Cipla Foundation, Ikamva Labantu launched their brand new Shap’Left Nursing Surgery in Khayelitsha, a township just outside of Cape Town.

The unit is owned by Ikamva Labantu and it will provide a sustainable source of income for the NGO.

At the same time the Shap’Left Nursing Surgery will serve the Khayelitsha community with affordable, quality primary healthcare services.

The surgery has been designed and patented by the Cipla Foundation South Africa.

Meet Lulama Sikweza


Lulama Sikweza is Ikamva Labantu’s aromatherapist.

She lost her sight to Rubella (German measles) at the age of six.

Lulu, as she is fondly known, started working for Ikamva Labantu as the switchboard operator 20 years ago and was later trained as an aromatherapist. She is a mother of two children and helps people in her community, Ikamva Labantu’s 19 senior clubs and staff.

Good things take time.

Over 2 years ago when Lulu found out about the proposed collaboration with the Cipla Foundation she knew the potential impact it would have in her community.

She had relied on others to accompany her to other health institutions which meant that she had to pay for herself and companions to get there, and then of course there was the immense amount of time spent both traveling and waiting to be consulted.

Lulu is not alone in her struggle to access medical care.; currently over 80% of South Africans have no medical aid, and have no choice but to seek treatment at the government hospitals and clinics due to the high cost of private care. Hospitals in urban townships are suffering with increased patient loads and are battling to cope with the demand.

The two main contributing factors are the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa  and rapid urbanisation, where a large number of people are now living in unhealthy conditions in informal settlements.

“This is not only about the beauty of the structure to me which everybody is talking about. For me it’s the first time I’ll have privacy and I will be able to do things on my own with the nurse without a third person” says Lulu.

Did you know?

The Shap’Left Nursing Surgery initiative is fully supported by the Western Cape Department of Health and the unit includes a nurse’s surgery, reception area and a medical shop.

A full-time Clinical Nurse Practitioner provides primary healthcare services and dispenses medication. A receptionist manages the facility. Services at the surgery include family planning, women’s health, HIV tests, wound care, check-ups and more.

The surgery is open to the public.

Costs of services range from R20 – R200, inclusive of prescription medication.

The facility alleviates the pressure that clinics and day hospitals in the surrounding area experience. Patients may make appointments, thus shortening the time that they would normally spend waiting at a clinic.

To find out more about the launch click here

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