UNJANI CLINICS NPC: BRIDGING THE HEALTHCARE DIVIDE IN UNDERSERVICED COMMUNITIES
The Unjani Clinic initiative was conceptualised by Dr Iain Barton in 2010 and the project was tested and piloted between 2012 and 2013. In 2014, the initiative was formalised through the establishment of Unjani Clinics NPC.
Unjani Clinics NPC (“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. To date 94 clinics, including two mobile clinics, have been established across South Africa. The primary funders of Unjani Clinic include Imperial, Johnson & Johnson, The Jobs Fund (National Treasury), The Elma Growth Foundation, Pfizer, Bayer, MSD, Mediclinic and Tiso AEL Community Trust.
The clinics have been established on commercial or tribal community land and at shopping centres. 10 of the 17 Unjani Clinics located at shopping centres have been established at the Community Property Fund (“Comprop”) shopping centres in Gauteng (Diepsloot Mall, Alexandra Plaza, Heidelberg Mall), Mpumalanga (Mkhuhlu Plaza, Kanyamazane Centre, Thulamahashe Plaza, Nkomazi Plaza), Limpopo (Moutse Mall), North West (The Crossing Shopping Centre) and KwaZulu-Natal (Maxwell Centre).
The clinics in the Comprop portfolio have been established in non-GLA areas or in the centres’ parking lots. The clinics are not liable for rental or utilities as part of Comprop’s contribution to the primary healthcare initiative. As at June 2021, the total number of patient visits since 2015 is just under 200 000, and the clinics currently average a combined total of 8 039 patient visits per month. “Our relationship with Comprop has been an incredible partnership, enabling access to healthcare in high volume shopping centres which has really assisted the Nurses with safe and secure sites. Our mall clinics generally do a higher volume of consults because of the footfall in in the area, and as such, these clinics achieve sustainability much quicker than the rural or community-based clinics. We are truly grateful for the partnership.” says Lynda Toussaint, CEO – Unjani Clinics NPC.
Unjani Clinic empowers Nurses within their communities to address the lack of quality, basic healthcare – and to run and manage their own businesses with ongoing support and mentorship from Unjani Clinic. The services provided by the clinics include primary healthcare, family planning, antenatal care and basic ultrasounds, baby clinic services including immunizations, management of chronic illnesses, management of ARV’s, and HIV counselling and testing. Over 350 permanent jobs have been created through the Unjani Clinic network and the clinics in the Comprop portfolio have provided employment for 30 women from the local communities.
Unjani Clinic plans to open an additional six clinics by the end of December 2021, and thereafter an additional 50 clinics per year to achieve their goal of 600 clinics across South Africa by 2030. The sites in the Comprop portfolio continue to be assessed in line with Unjani Clinic’s rollout plan to maximise the number of clinics across the portfolio.