Tekano Lifelong Fellows Judiac Ranape and Lebohang Molete, together with the Rural Health Advocacy Project, recently handed over a repurposed container to the community of Mnceba in Ntabankulu, Eastern Cape. The repurposed container will be used as a patient waiting area at the Mnceba Clinic. The clinic, which provides health services to 13 villages, had no waiting area which meant people had to wait outside even during rainy days.


“We came here back in 2001 and we had a meeting with the community. They listed a number of health needs that they have but a patient waiting area was top of the list. We have had a case or two where a patient was bitten by a snake while waiting. That should not be happening.” said Molete.

The Fellows have also helped the community to access other health services.

“That wasn’t the only thing that was a challenge to the community, they mentioned a number of things like a blocked toilet, which was a pit toilet and the fact that there was no medication at the facility, there was a shortage of staff and there was no immunisation for the children. But half of those things were things that we could manage because they did not know where to go to seek help. For immunisation we contacted the Department of Health, for toilets we contacted Environmental Health and Public Works and that was all sorted, ” said Ranape.

Community member Siphokazi Mdolo, has welcomed the interventions but notes that there are still a lot of challenges that are facing the community.

“When it rains the staff at the clinic must stop working because the roof leaks. Also, the doctors sometimes do not come, and we also have one nurse at the clinic. We also do not have medication. Also, because we do not have proper roads, when it rains people cannot come to the clinic,” said Mdolo.

During the handover event, the Department of Health also provided comprehensive health services, including specialities like audiology and ophthalmology.