Over 400 people crowded into Munsieville’s Hope Park children’s health campus on 22 September 2017 for the grand official opening of this unique facility and to celebrate the fulfilment of a long-held dream. For generations, the children of Munsieville have struggled with poor health and lack of access to basic health services, but Hope Park, situated in the heart of the township’s sprawling squatter camp, is a base for child-focused health and well-being services, without equal in similar locations in South Africa.
Hope Park and its three age-specific health units was funded by the UK’s Property Race Day. The campus also has a dedicated children’s nutrition centre - a gift from the Norton Rose Fulbright Foundation - and a multi-purpose activity/education centre.
By aiming for 100% vaccination coverage, waging war on malnutrition and working to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child, this unique campus is placing real power in the hands of those responsible for the care of children - equipping them to be the champions of the health of their own families.
The 15 partner organisations operating at the campus include:
Department of Health: The local clinic will use the Infant Health Unit to offer vaccinations for children and infants in a child-friendly environment. Currently, the rate of full childhood vaccinations in the informal settlement is below 70%, and the aim is to improve this so that Munsieville becomes South Africa’s first township community to achieve full protection against common childhood diseases.
Westview Clinic Muldersdrift: Their team focuses on alcohol and substance abuse which is widespread in Munsieville and other South African townships. The Westview Clinic team has been operating from Hope Park since its opening and has already established a good relationship with the community.
Families South Africa (FAMSA): is bringing social services closer to the informal settlement. Thlale Tabane works from Hope Park on a regular basis and also attends cases brought to his attention by our Child Rights and Protection Unit.
Mogale City HIV/AIDS Dept: offers testing and counselling at Hope Park in a confidential and private environment. Stigma associated with the disease is the main reason why people avoid being tested, but at Hope Park the numbers of tests are already increasing.
Pardekraal Clinic: In cooperation with ‘Brothers for Life’ they inform the community about the benefits of medical male circumcision which can help to prevent HIV infections. Community members can make appointments for treatment right on their door step.