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The City of Johannesburg has spent more than R14,5 million to turn a clinic with humble beginnings in Ivory Park, northern Johannesburg, into a modern healthcare facility designed to effectively and efficiently meet the growing healthcare needs of the local community.

Mpumelelo Clinic, which started operating from a prefabricated building more than two decades ago, was officially opened by then Health Minister Rina Venter in 1993, a year before the dawn of democracy.

The provision of the rudimentary facility was in response to the congestion experienced at Hi-Khensile Clinic at the time.

The demand for healthcare services from Mpumelelo Clinic has been overwhelming in recent years. In the 2013-2014 financial year alone, the clinic treated almost 40 000 patients or an average of 3 332 a month.

Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health and Social Development Cllr Nonceba Molwele said the revamped clinic would be an asset not only to the Ivory Park community, but also to neighbouring areas.

“It offers full and comprehensive primary healthcare services. This upgrade has ensured that the community has access to a more modern brick-and-mortar structure with proper emergency and isolation rooms. The upgrade has also ensured that we have an additional five consultation rooms,” said Cllr Molwele.

Nelly Shongwe, Health Deputy Director of the City’s Region A, said the upgrade was in line with Johannesburg’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040).

“It will contribute to improved quality of life and driven resilience for all. It will also contribute to the City’s Ten-Plus programme as it relates to sustained human settlements and engaged active citizenry,” said Shongwe.

The City’s Ten-Plus programme is a ward-based integrated service delivery initiative launched in 2012 to improve access to basic services in the City.

Mpumelelo Clinic first received a capital injection of R10.5 million from the City’s 2013-2014 budget adjustment and an additional R4 million from the current financial year’s budget.

Services to be offered at the new-look clinic include maternal and reproductive healthcare such as cervical screening, family planning and post and antenatal care; child healthcare, including immunisation, growth assessment and developmental screening, and supplementary feeding; as well as communicable and non-communicable diseases care.

The clinic will also provide specialised services for mental health.