Samsung launches Solar powered Health Centre

 

SAMSUNG Africa Forum, Samsung Electronics Africa launched its Solar Powered

Health Centre model in Cape Town, marking the start of a large-scale

medical initiative on the continent. The mobile centres are built for

use in remote rural areas, and intended to eliminate the economic and

geographic barriers that prevent people across Africa from obtaining

quality medical treatment.

The Solar Powered Health Centre is designed to reach as many people as

possible, as regularly as possible. Mounted on a truck and manned by

qualified medical professionals, the centres will move from one area to

the next providing a range of eye, ear, blood and dental medical

services to the public.

“There is still much to be done in South Africa to educate people about

the importance of basic preventative medical screening and treatment.

What many see as minor health issues will not only get worse over time,

but will affect other aspects of quality of life. The child that cannot

see properly cannot learn properly” says Dr Mandlalele Mhinga, medical

expert, and Trustee and active member of the Nelson Mandel Children’s

Hospital. “Mobile solutions help address this issue by making medical

services accessible to more people in rural areas, and educating them

about health care at the same time. When corporates come on board and

partner with government by using their unique expertise to contribute to

a better society – we see powerful results”.

Samsung has set itself a goal to reach one million people through its

Solar Powered Health Centres by 2015 – as part of its broader CSR goal

to positively impact the lives of five million people in Africa by 2015.

According to the World Bank, more than 60% of people in Sub-Saharan

Africa live in rural areas. These people often lack the time and

resources to reach clinics for proactive medical care, and particularly

if they are ill and unable to make long journeys. In South Africa, only

approximately 20% of the population is served by private medical

schemes, with the public health sector struggling to cater to the

remaining 80% of the population.

“We have been providing medical services to rural areas in Africa for a

few years now through our annual Employee Volunteer Programmes”, says

Ntutule Tshenye, Business-to-Government and Corporate Citizenship Lead

for Samsung Africa. “This experience has shown us how desperately

medical treatment is needed across the continent, and inspired us to

develop a sustainable and innovative solution to reach the people who

need it most. While our CSR strategy in Africa is largely focused on

education, our efforts to enrich lives will not be felt if people’s

basic needs, such as access to healthcare, are not met.”

A large focus will be placed on screening people to establish conditions

such as diabetes, high blood pressure, tooth decay and cataracts. The

centres will also focus on educating communities about health issues and

encouraging people to take tests as preventative measure. Medical

products will be provided by Samsung’s partners on this project,

including the Department of Health and pharmaceutical companies. Other

partners will include medical universities, and organisations that are

involved in health care like World Vision, and Doctors without Borders.

Samsung Africa’s broader CSR strategy involves a sustained focus on

three key areas: education, healthcare, and rural connectivity – in line

with the company’s global ‘Hope for Children’ initiative

<http://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/citizenship/hopeforchildren/> .

In addition, Samsung Africa focuses on developing products that are

built specifically for African conditions in an effort to improve lives,

as seen in its ‘Built for Africa’ product range. To ensure it is able to

continue to meet consumer demand on the continent; Samsung’s education

programmes, which include the Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy,

Samsung Solar Powered Internet Schools, Samsung Solar Power Generator,

and Samsung eLearning Centres, are geared at supporting the development

of African thought-leadership and the advancement of electronics

engineering on the continent.

 

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