FEATURED PERSONALITY: PHUMZILE MCHUNU, UNJANI CLINIC MAXWELL CENTRE
Unjani Clinic is a network of primary healthcare clinics, owned and operated by black women, which provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to communities in low income areas. These clinics provide employment for up to three nurses from each local community.
Since 2015, nine Unjani Clinics have been established across the Community Property Fund portfolio, and to date have received a total of 119 782 patient visits.
Phumzile Mchunu grew up in Nongoma, Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal and currently resides in Empangeni. She attended Empangeni High School and then went on to complete her Nursing Diploma at Ngwelezana Nursing College in Empangeni, and specialised in Primary Health Care at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Phumzile qualified as a registered Nurse in 2012 and began her nursing career at Molweni Clinic in Durban.
Phumzile joined the Unjani Clinic family in 2019, and was originally based in Clermont in Pinetown but due to the low number of patient visits and numerous break-ins she sought after a new location. With support from Unjani Clinic and Capital Land, an area was identified at Maxwell Centre in Empangeni and the clinic opened in February 2020.
The clinic has been well received by the community and to date has received over 1 090 patient visits, an average of 12 patients per day. Since opening in February 2020, Phumzile has employed two full-time clinic assistants and one part time cleaner to assist with the rising demand and patient visits. “The community have expressed their gratitude for our presence and the services we offer. We often have clients come back to thank us for our quality service and in turn refer more community members to make use of our services as they have complete trust in us caring for them” says Phumzile.
Unjani clinic has afforded Phumzile the opportunity to achieve her lifelong dream of being able provide quality healthcare to the most underserviced members of her community, “We know how expensive private medical care is, and with the overwhelmed local clinics, with shortage of medication and staff, we are able to bridge the gap between the two. Access to quality healthcare at an affordable price has been made very easy through Unjani clinic”.
Unjani Clinic has also provided Phumzile with mentorship and support in order to run her own clinic and business, something that she had always strived for but wasn’t confident in her ability to operate as a Nurse and manage a business simultaneously. “Starting your own business can be daunting, but the NPC has made it so easy, knowing that you always have the support you need. I have been equipped with all the skills necessary to run my own successful business. I’m grateful. I would also encourage other nurses not to shy away in starting their own businesses, our communities really need us to serve them” says Phumzile.
For further information about Unjani Clinic please click here.