The Choice trust brings healthcare closer to home

Choice mainthe Choice Trust offers training to community-based health workers and community members who are then able to provide care to their communities. (Image: Choice Trust, via Facebook)

The threat of illness is always something we have to keep an eye out for, and access to medical care is important for living a healthy and fulfilling life.

But for people living in South Africa’s rural areas, access to medical assistance often means having to cover large distances to get to the nearest hospital or clinic, which makes regular check-ups difficult.

This is why the Choice Trust has shifted the focus onto rural communities around Tzaneen in Limpopo and has developed community home-based medical care through training and outreach.

WHAT CHOICE TRUST IS ABOUT

Accredited by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority, the Choice Trust offers training to community-based health workers and community members who are then able to provide care to their communities.

“It was established in greater Tzaneen originally and focused predominantly on the needs of farm workers,” explains Nicola Stuart-Thompson, the director of the Choice Trust.

“Soon, however, the organisation realised that addressing just the needs of farm workers wasn’t sufficient and we needed to move into the rural community.”

While spreading their reach further into Tzaneen’s rural areas, members of the organisation realised that health needs are very broad and therefore developed the organisation in order to provide a variety of services.

“One of our programmes is the home-based care programme through which we have 65 caregivers,” Stuart-Thompson explains.

These caregivers service around 10 000 households, offering a variety of services including screening and prevention in order to catch health issues before they become more problematic.

“There are a number of challenges that we face,” says Hilary Saichitima, the programme coordinator at the Choice Trust.

“One of the biggest challenges that we face is the distance that patients have to travel in order to get to a clinic or in order to get to a health facility as well as the distances that our caregivers have to travel in order to get to the patients.”

Knowing where to go when in need of help is one of the major benefits of Choice Trust. It has also grown into a good referral system for those looking for help from social workers and support groups.

GET INVOLVED

If you’re looking to get involved with the Choice Trust, have a look at their website for details.

You can also contact the organisation on +27 15 307 6329 or via email at office@choicetrust.co.za.

PLAY YOUR PART

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If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.