UNJANI CLINIC – MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THULAMAHASHE PLAZA
Pamela Sedibe is making a difference in the Thulamahashe community through her Unjani Clinic which opened at Thulamahashe Plaza in November 2018. Unjani Clinic is a network of women owned and operated primary healthcare clinics that provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to communities in low income areas.
Pamela’s family is originally from Bushbuckridge which is approximately 30 kilometres south of Thulamahashe, Mpumalanga. She grew up in Edenvale, Johannesburg where she completed her schooling years and later graduated with a Nursing Diploma from Ann Latsky Nursing College in Parktown. Pamela qualified as a registered Nurse in 2009 and completed community service at Edendale Clinic. She then went onto work in the NGO sector before joining the Unjani Clinic network in 2018.
Unjani Clinic empowers women within their communities to address the lack of quality, basic healthcare and to run and manage their own business with ongoing support and mentorship from Unjani Clinic, “The area I work in is deeply rural with resources that are normally available in cities are not available here. Even the government clinics struggle with stock to give quality care to their patients. My clinic however has been able to bridge this gap, of providing affordable, quality medical care to clients. It gives great joy when patients come back and express their gratitude for the impact the clinic has had in their wellbeing. It is under such circumstances where one learns to think outside the box and render holistic care, in these kinds of areas you not only function as a nurse but also as a therapist, advisor and so on” says Pamela.
The Thulamahashe Plaza Unjani Clinic has attended to 4 329 patients since it opened. In order to meet the demand for healthcare in the community, Pamela has hired a full-time Clinic Assistant and a part-time Auxillary Nurse. The opportunity has certainly impacted Pamela’s life but she is conscious of the responsibility and the challenges of being a business owner “Entering the self-employment market is not easy. I have learnt that being an employee is the easiest thing to do – with self-employment things are different, if one does not put in effort during the month and continuously the impact on the business is felt in an instant”. Pamela encourages women to pursue entrepreneurship opportunities “I would advise fellow females to take the leap and get into entrepreneurship, it’s not easy yes but the rewards outweigh the struggles at the end of the day. Thank you to the Unjani Network for putting trust in me and allowing me to join the network of female champions”.
There are currently 7 Unjani Clinics in the Comprop Portfolio which have provided affordable, quality healthcare to over 84 000 patients to date.