Afrupro is one of the avocado farms in the north of South Africa and we are representing a number of farms in Limpopo with a farm worker component of about 600 permanent workers. We initiated a project to give primary health care to our workers and their immediate family living with them on the respective farms. This project started small in 2009 and by the middle of 2010 it was felt that this service be increased as more and more people started using this service.

Currently we have an agreement with Lombard Pharmacy which is part of the Pro-Group where there is a permanent sister on duty in their health clinic. Sister Carla Snyman is seeing on average 7 – 10 people per day from our farming group. According to Sister Carla this service has created an opportunity for workers to get better health service. In the last 20 months that we have been involved she has been able to identify workers with chronic diseases, which have been able to be cared for on a regular basis. On the database that she has created she is now able to follow up on workers if they do not come back regularly by communicating the health problems with the owners of the farm. This has created a positive attitude from the owners and the workers towards the use of the clinic facility.

Sister Carla who has a very strong feeling towards good and professional Health Care has been able during the past 20 months to identify certain patients with chronic diseases and was able to refer them to professional health care at other medical institutions. She has also been able to do HIV tests and has been able to refer patients to the right clinic for ARV treatments, while patients who are as yet not in line for ARV treatments are being treated and monitored at the clinic.

They also provide counseling to patients with HIV to create a positive attitude towards the disease and get patients to stay on the program.

Any serious problems are referred to a medical doctor who can then treat them at his consulting rooms. Vaccination is also done before the onset of winter and this has resulted in less worker absenteeism due to flu and colds.

Speaking to the workers who have been using this facility a very positive response is given, which translate back to a healthy work environment and a caring attitude back to the workers.

~ Written by Bram Snijder, Project Coordinator, Afrupro ~