Dr Steve Rossouw of the University of Pretoria, left, with Louis van der Watt, CEO of Atterbury group, at the opening of the Triomf Clinic in Pretoria.
Being ill is no laughing matter – especially not for someone who simply cannot afford to buy a bottle of medicine or visit a doctor. However, thanks the Atterbury Trust, GROOTfm 90.5, a group of doctors and other partners, the new Triomf Clinic opened its doors in Danville recently, bringing basic health care to destitute residents of Pretoria West.
Situated in Vom Hagen Street, at the Suid-Arikaanse Vrouefederasie’s Margaretha Ackerman Home, patients can visit the Triomf Clinic for free, quality medical treatment.
The clinic offers general medical services during the mornings and in the afternoons it offers specialist services, including dermatology, a paediatric service, internal medicine, an ear, nose and throat clinic, as well as ophthalmology.
The aim is to make medical services available to the community, especially children and the elderly – people who are the most vulnerable when it comes to health problems. Services at the Triomf Clinic are rendered for free, but it is not a walk-in facility and patients have to make appointments to see a doctor.
“We work with various social organisations that will refer patients to us,” explains Zahn Hulme who heads the Atterbury Trust.
The Atterbury Trust is the co-founder of the Triomf Clinic and it was its involvement at certain schools in Pretoria West that made them aware of the lack of health care available for impoverished families in the area.
A group of doctors, in collaboration with the Atterbury Trust, GROOTfm 90.5 and other partners, put their heads – and hearts – together and the idea of the Triomf Clinic was born. Listeners of GROOTfm 90.5 were also invited to get involved and generously supported the project.
The official opening of the Triomf Clinic on Wednesday, 23 July was a joyful occasion, with the symbolic cutting of a blue ribbon in the presence of all those who were involved. The first patients were also welcomed to the Triomf Clinic and received much-needed – and appreciated – medical treatment by the clinic’s dermatologist, physician and general medical practitioner.
Patients expressed their gratitude for finally having access to medical services which were previously unavailable to them. They were also visibly relieved over the fact that they would no longer have to wait in long queues to see a doctor.
“The doctors’ initiative, in collaboration with the Atterbury Trust is an example of how ordinary South Africans can make the solutions which they want to see, happen,” says GROOTfm 90.5 station manager Etienne Piek.
Atterbury Trust forms part of Atterbury’s business philosophy to give back to the community and create opportunities. Apart from its involvement with the Triomf Clinic, Atterbury has also been providing bursaries to needy students at tertiary institutions across South Africa for the past 17 years. The Atterbury Trust also contributes vital monthly financial aid to schools in Pretoria West.
It passionately advances arts and culture, with the establishment of the Atterbury Theatre, the National Atterbury Piano competition and its investment in community radio station GROOTfm, which is a platform to mobilise the public and obtain further support for The Atterbury Trust projects.
“We hope to one day have similar clinics all over the country,” says Hulme.