NATIONAL NEWS - There’s an old saying that laughter is truly the best medicine. And to put their weight behind this adage, a group of South African comedians are collaborating with a relief and development organisation to bring much-needed healthcare to children in the Western Cape.
Thousands of children in South Africa die every year of preventable illnesses. However, with proper medical care, children can live healthier and happier lives.
During the month of July, Penny Appeal – a relief and development NGO that provides aid to communities in need – embarked on a campaign to raise funds for a mobile medical bus.
This campaign included the Penny for a Laugh Charity Comedy Tour in partnership with Blu Blood, which featured an all-star comedy line-up and was hosted by Dr Riaad Moosa.
The tour proved to be a success in highlighting the health needs of vulnerable and under-resourced areas, specifically to where access to medical attention and care was scarce.
Funds raised from the tour contributed towards the bus which was officially launched in November in the Western Cape.
According to Penny Appeal COO Shaheen Sha, R1,000 per child per year provides access to general primary healthcare such as vaccinations, health education and counselling, nutritional assessments, growth monitoring, motor skills and development milestones, hearing assessments, provision of check and treatment of minor ailments and referrals to local clinics or hospitals for more serious health issues.
“We are also, with the help of our partners, providing dental care and eye care. The dentist on-board will do oral hygiene education, scaling and polishing (cleaning), fluoride treatments, application of fissure sealants, tooth extractions and fillings.
“Children will also be provided with visual screening, eye health examinations, provision of medication for children with minor ailments and referrals to an eye clinic should there be more serious eye care issues,” said Sha in a recent press statement.
When asked about the motivation for the project, she said that the development and investing in the youth South Africa was a cause close to the heart for Penny Appeal.
“With this array of treatments available to children, it will aid in proper healthcare treatments, minimising the chances of serious conditions when they are older.”
The bus will travel between primary schools, offering medical care to the learners in the communities.
The Penny Appeal way of doing charity is simple – they take small change and make a big difference with it.
To donate or learn more about this campaign, you can sign up at: www.pennyappeal.org.za/donate or call Penny Appeal offices for more information on 031 11 00 573.