Who is needed at the Tshemba Foundation?
In short, we need everyone.
If you are passionate about sharing your medical experience and healthcare knowledge, contact us. Based on your area of expertise as well as the capacity available, we can determine where and when your visit will be best suited.
Our call is open to all, as long as you are HPCSA certified to practice medicine in South Africa. (We can assist with the administration to help international volunteers get their licences).
We prefer it that doctors stay for longer periods such as a month, as it will give you more time to become familiar with the setup, etc., but we do understand that your time is in high demand so you can come for a week, a year or anything in between.
In order to maintain the appropriate level of care, once your volunteer experience is over, it is imperative that skills and expertise are transferred to the local healthcare providers. Thus, we request that you’ll:
teach and train the regular healthcare providers
create tools and processes that encourage training, mentoring, and shadowing
motivate local professionals to actively continue their skill acquisitions
wherever possible, stay in touch with the doctors or nurses left behind after your departure
Hospitals and clinics
We have an MOU with the Mpumalanga Department of Health that allows us to place our doctors and nurses in their hospitals and clinics. Although you can be placed at a number of clinics in the area or be asked to visit “pop-up” clinics, more often than not you’ll be at Tintswalo Hospital or Hlokomela Clinic.
Tintswalo Hospital is a district hospital that is run by government. Although it offers 423 beds and provides maternity, psychiatric, orthopaedic, surgical and general medical care, it only has six permanent staff doctors, and it has to serve over 300 000 Acornhoek residents.
Due to the limitation in Tintswalo’s permanent staff, we have to be cognisant of the number of people we place there at a time, as the doctors will have to work with the volunteers.
Hlokomela Women’s Clinic
Hlokomela Women’s Clinic is part of the Hlokomela programme, a government-funded initiative aimed at reducing HIV vulnerability. This programme focusses on workers, including foreign migrants, in the agriculture, nature conservation and tourism sectors and aims to reduce HIV vulnerability through peer education, raising awareness, prevention and treatment.
In addition to the HIV/AIDS work, the Hlokomela Women’s Clinic offers breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment to local farm workers and their families. We are also able to offer ante-natal screenings for pregnant women. We are exceptionally proud to be part of the clinic as it is the first of its kind in the region. Tshemba helped the clinic acquire an ultrasound machine and partnered with the Dis-Chem Foundation to provide Hlokomela with a monthly supply of necessities.
We’re also currently busy sourcing equipment to establish a fully-functional eye clinic for the area.
Our application process is quick and easy, and it’s completely free to join. (You are only responsible for your own food, transport and fun activities.) Once you’ve completed our online form, we’ll contact you to discuss dates, your field of expertise and any needed paperwork. We’ll prepare your accommodation, and our lodge manager will brief you on what to expect, health-wise.
When you arrive, our team on the ground, led by Godfrey Phillips and Dr John Gear, will facilitate your integration into the hospital and clinic.