2011 Archon Award Recipient
Transnet-Phelophepa, a health care train that has traveled since 1994 into areas of rural South Africa, where there is just one doctor for every 5,000 patients, to provide primary health care. Literally translated, “Phelophepa” means “good, clean health” and this captures the essence of what the train aims to achieve. Phelophepa is one of the Corporate Social Investment projects owned and operated by Transnet Limited – South Africa’s biggest state-owned freight transportation and logistics company. Receiving the award on behalf of Transnet (SOC) Limited, South Africa is Dr. Lynette Coetzee (pictured), Portfolio Manager: Health.
High-quality, affordable and accessible health care services are delivered to millions of people by the Phelophepa’s team of dedicated full-time multi-disciplinary professionals and part-time student volunteers. Staff on the 18-coach train conduct general health, dental and eye screening, and dispense treatments or give referrals for diagnosed conditions.
In addition to these primary health services, individual counseling sessions and group workshops are offered to help people cope with daily hardships and psychological issues such as stress, HIV/AIDS, violence, unemployment, parenting skills and depression. There is an on-board Edu-Clinic that trains 16 volunteers from each community in preventive health care at each of the stations on route to empower the communities to take responsibility for their own health and well-being.
The Phelophepa, that travels 36 weeks a year, established partnerships between public and private sectors, with valuable input and support from the Department of Health and the academic institutions in South Africa. F. Hoffmann-La Roche is a major external sponsor for the upkeep of the health clinic and the pharmacy on board the Phelophepa and a number of other corporations and organizations also provide financial support to the train.
The Sigma Theta Tau International Board of Directors is presenting a 2011 Archon Award to Transnet-Phelophepa in recognition of its work and dedication to providing primary health care services and education to South Africa’s most remote rural areas.