#ImpactMoments: Hout Bay Fires Relief Unit Deployed

On the 11th March 2017 Hout Bay witnessed one of its most devastating fires in recent years. An estimated 2200 homes were destroyed leaving approximately 10,000 people displaced without food, water, clothes or shelter after a fire ravaged Mandela Park in Hout Bay which left the community traumatised and in desperate need of support.

The Cipla Foundation deployed a disaster relief medical unit to provide assistance to the affected community. The temporary relief camp that has been set on the sports grounds is housing roughly 600 people who are waiting to return to their lives as soon as possible.

Working with the Western Cape Department of Health and local community leadership, we located a temporary site on the grounds which will help to alleviate the administrative task of replacing important documents needed to access vital medication and necessary health care services due to the fire that destroyed 70% of the township

Paul Miller, Cipla Medro South Africa CEO, pointed out that due to this massive disaster, many residents have lost important medical documents such as Road to Health booklets and Clinic Cards and are now facing the struggle of getting back into the health system.

“Consequently, some of these residents are now not able to get their much needed regular chronic medication for treatment of HIV, TB and other chronic conditions. The community leaders also advised that patients’ chronic medicine were destroyed in the fire and they therefore need their medicine to be re-issued.

“Following consultation with all stakeholders, this initiative will assist with re-connecting displaced people back into the established healthcare system. The Cipla Foundation will provide a temporary facility and nursing staff to service the initiative under the guidance of the Western Cape Department of Health,” says Miller.

To date we have helped to get approximately 50 people per day in the Imizamo Yethu community back into the health system.

“It has served a useful purpose and we have seen many people since its deployment. I think a lot of people would have been without their documents and medicines and the necessary help with referrals. Working with local health services and the clinic at the Hout bay harbour has helped with instant ARV’s and chronic medication. People that are pregnant are being seen and put back onto the register again so it’s been a very worthwhile venture” – Virginia Johnson – Hout Bay Health Forum nurse practitioner stationed onsite.

We have met some incredible people on the ground who have shown their resilience in the most dire of circumstances. There has been an immense effort from the community and local authorities in Hout Bay and the greater Cape Town area in pulling together and helping their fellow South Africans to show the true spirit of Ubuntu which we have been very proud to be a part of.

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