New X-ray machine ends 110km patient transfers by ambulance

The medical care of a rural South African population has taken a significant advance with local access to X-ray diagnostics.

Noupoort Community Healthcare Centre, the primary 24/7 clinic for some 8,000 residents of the Northern Cape town and its surrounds, took delivery of a much-needed X-ray machine last month.

And staff were soon using the new equipment – funded by the nearby Noupoort Wind Farm, in collaboration with the district and provincial Department of Health offices, as well as the Provincial Department of Public Works – in emergency cases and for maternity and in-patient care.

The on-site service removes the need to make the 110km round-trip to Colesburg, where X-rays are only available two days a week and often leaves disadvantaged patients reliant on ambulance transfers.

Sister Jokka, the Operational Manager at the Noupoort Community Healthcare Centre, told how the X-ray machine was enabling medics like Assistant Nurse Christine Rowan to promptly assess injuries and illnesses, resulting in improved treatment plans.

She said “I would like to express our gratitude to the Noupoort Wind Farm for funding the project on behalf of the Noupoort community and the facility staff for the assistance of patient service delivery.”

The initiative was rolled out as part of the wind farm’s broader Economic Development programme of local health, social welfare and infrastructure supports.