Armed Forces Day taking healthcare to those in need

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Included in this year’s Armed Forces Day (AFD) events is a tasking that will see SA Military Health Services (SAMHS) personnel using specific healthcare disciplines to assist people who cannot afford or don’t have ready access to medical facilities.

Project Owethu, Zulu meaning “it’s ours”, is one part of the overall community outreach forming part of AFD 2023 in and around the Richards Bay area of the uMhlathuze municipality and the surrounding King Cetshwayo District. Owethu will not be confined to people in need of eye care and oral health, as their pets are also in line for assistance from SAMHS veterinary specialists.

SAMHS in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health will offer free health services from today (Monday, 6 February) to 17 February at Eshowe Hospital, Kwa-Msane Clinic and uMhlathuze Sport Grounds and surrounding areas. Medical screenings and oral health education for school children at KwaZibonele Primary School, Maqhwakwazi Hall, Thembalimbe Primary and Dondotha Community Hall are on the schedule. Simultaneously some SAMHS personnel will move to the Nkandla area and conduct a similar programme at Ekhombe Primary School and multi-purpose centre. Military medics will also be in Eqhudeni area visiting Makhathini Primary School and Qhudeni Hall. Medical teams will conduct oral health screenings and treatments at Kwa Msane Clinic in Mtubatuba, Nkundusi Hall and Nsombosi Primary School.

Another arrow in the Owethu quiver is training with, according to a SA National Defence Force (SANDF) statement, “career and recruitment advice and awareness” in northern KwaZulu-Natal for military health professions. 15, 16 and 17 February are set aside for specialist military health career guidance on the University of Zululand’s Richards Bay campus.