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OR Tambo Clinic was the launch pad of a new health initiative, Health TV, which combines education with entertainment.
PATIENTS sitting in the waiting rooms of various clinics throughout Johannesburg will no longer have to nervously bite their nails as they wonder what is wrong with them. With the launch of Health TV, people will be able to learn about the symptoms, prevention and cure of illnesses, all before they’ve even seen a medical professional.


MMC Bengeza MthombeniMMC Bengeza Mthombeni: Health TV will have a huge impact on peopleThe mayoral committee member for health, Bengeza Mthombeni, officially unveiled the initiative at OR Tambo Clinic in Diepsloot on 7 April, along with representatives from the Department of Health and Isilumko Media, who partnered on the project.

Refik Bismilla, the executive director of the City’s health directorate, spoke of the positive impact Health TV would have on the Diepsloot community. “This is certainly a big day; an oak tree begins with an acorn," he said.

“Today highlights the importance of the collaboration between the City and Isilumko, and it is especially important as today is World Health Day,” he said. “It shows the classical success story it could become.”

Isilumko Media also saw the project as a way of improving health care throughout the region. “Isilumko prides itself on not only doing good business, but doing good,” said the managing director, Nrikita Singh, “and we approached Health TV with the same ideology.

“It is TV designed to incorporate educational material with music, sport and entertainment, with the entertainment as the sugar to make the educational material go down,” she said.

Health TV was created as a way of empowering people with the knowledge and skills required to look after their own health. But the main reason people watch television is for entertainment. The creators of the project realised this, and worked to intertwine the objectives of entertainment and education.

“We have the technology to address and resolve all the challenges we faced before,” said Mthombeni. “We are empowering you as members of the Diepsloot community.

“The government runs a number of programmes, but our problem has been how to communicate these to the public. Now we can do it through Health TV,” he said.

Mthombeni shared his personal excitement about the project, as he felt it would have a “huge impact on the life our people”.

He urged customers to take responsibility for the upkeep of the clinic, so it would be a site for all to be proud of. “We will continue to improve services, but you must remember to look after the clinic because it is yours,” he said.

The initiative will be available in all clinics run by the City, Mthombeni announced.

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