Johannesburg, 5 December 2013
Imperial Health Sciences’ Unjani Clinic initiative won the “Investing in the Future and Drivers of Change Business Award” at the recent Investing in the Future Awards, hosted by the Mail & Guardian and Southern Africa Trust. This annual event is aimed at recognising and honouring good corporate citizenship.
Following an investment of more than R7 million in its Unjani Clinics project, Imperial Logistics group company Imperial Health Sciences became the first private sector organisation in South Africa to start a nurse owned and operated primary healthcare network.
Imperial Health Sciences managing director Dr Iain Barton stresses that there is an urgent need for transformation in South Africa’s health system, where almost 90% of the country’s population relies on the stretched and under-resourced public healthcare system. “Our aim is to contribute to this transformation with the setup of a network of franchised ‘Unjani Clinics’, which meet the need for primary health care in poor communities by providing essential medicines and education at the point of need.”
He explains that the clinics are owned and operated by professional nurses. “Thus, in addition to providing an affordable and accessible service for the poor who would otherwise spend vast amounts of time and incur travel costs to receive attention at a state healthcare facility, it also empowers black women, by creating entrepreneurial opportunities for professional nurses.” The franchise model sees the professional nurse increasing her ownership share annually based on an agreement with Imperial Health Sciences. Further employment opportunities are created due to the need for administrative support staff at the clinic, as well as cleaners and other service providers. “Each clinic creates between three and five sustainable jobs, and produces real, localised enterprise development that empowers women,” Barton adds.
The judges of the Investing in the Future Awards praised Unjani for its partnerships, rating it as “a feeder model that works in rural areas. It’s innovative and can be replicated,” the judges said.
The pilot Unjani Clinic has been operating in Etwatwa, Gauteng, for two years. Imperial Health Sciences now has seven fully franchised Unjani Clinic units – at Etwatwa, Orange Farm, Nellmapius, Bram Fischerville, Villa Lisa in Gauteng; at Kwaggafontein in Mpumalanga; and Delft in the Western Cape. Based on the success of the project to date – each of the seven clinics sees between 150 and 500 patients per month – the company plans to establish a national network of 400 Unjani Clinics in the next five years. “We used population estimates, national primary healthcare infrastructure, primary healthcare national expenditure, non-hospital public health expenditure per capita by district, GDP contribution per province and primary healthcare process indicators to determine the number and geographic distribution of the 400 clinics,” says Barton. “We will focus on those areas where the greatest need for accessible and affordable primary healthcare exists.”
Each Unjani Clinic operates from a customised 12m shipping container. Patients pay between R100 and R150 for a consultation with a qualified nurse, and receive medicines to treat a range of common primary healthcare conditions. “All of the clinics are equipped to deal with primary healthcare illnesses. In addition to this core service offering, other services include curative, preventative, promotive and chronic care. Curative care covers the treatment of minor ailments, STIs and wound care,” he explains. “On the preventative side, the clinics offer family planning, pregnancy testing, antenatal care, immunisation, HIV testing, TB screening and wellness screening that encompasses blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol and vision screening. Chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension are treated, and, in terms of promotive care, the clinics offer health education and counselling.
“Unjani Clinic engages the underserved and lower income population as customers, offering them community access to quality primary healthcare at prices they can afford. This is an affordable, accessible and quality healthcare offering that provides the lower end of the market with an attractive treatment alternative and real potential to improve healthcare outcomes in South Africa,” Barton concludes.
About Imperial Logistics
With extensive operations throughout Europe and Africa, Imperial Logistics is uniquely placed to partner companies in leveraging the value inherent in their supply chains. By positioning ourselves as an extension of a clients’ business – building our clients’ brands alongside our own – we are co-collaborators in unlocking the competitive advantage contained in complex and dynamic logistics environments. Our own differentiators lie in a combination of an extensive resource base of transportation, warehousing and distribution operations and best-of-breed integrative process and technology solutions. We apply our pre-eminent supply chain management skills to manage operational processes across end-to-end value chains on behalf of our clients. As a multi-branded business, we are in a position to optimise the benefits, scale and synergies that are derived from large businesses, while retaining agility, customer focus and an entrepreneurial flair that characterises smaller businesses. We recognise that our clients’ requirements are unique and customise our service offerings accordingly, whilst leveraging our experience to benefit each client.
For more information, please visit www.imperiallogistics.co.za
About Imperial Health Sciences
Imperial Health Sciences is a leading force in African Healthcare supply chain management. Our common purpose is to ensure the secure and sustainable supply of affordable, quality medicines to the people of Africa. Leveraging off Imperial’s already established network together with our extensive experience in all channels – Wholesalers, Private and Public Health Sectors, Doctors, Pharmacies, Hospitals and FMCG – means that we can offer our clients the trust and confidence that is key in the healthcare sector. We see ourselves as more than a logistics supplier by focusing on being a partner dedicated to flexible solutions and joint value creation. Our operations are run on SAP to ensure seamless linking with our clients. Together with international standard QA compliance (ISO 9001:2008), we believe that our clients receive the highest possible level of service and assurance. We also conform to all regulatory and compliance standards in all markets that we service including full lot and batch traceability and trusted cold chain management. Imperial Health Sciences has operations in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Malawi with downstream distribution partners providing reach into 26 countries.
For more information visit www.ihs.za.com
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