In South Africa, the government provides free medication and ARV’s (antiretrovirals) to all HIV- and TB-positive patients. So all our children with chronic illnesses go for their regular clinic appointments at the nearest township clinics to receive their medication. The Township clinics in general provide free healthcare to all citizens in South Africa, but it comes with long waiting lines at the clinics and obviously a different standard of care in comparison to the expensive private hospitals.
In addition to the medical care we receive at the free township clinics, we have also been accepted as one of the beneficiaries of the Vision Medical Suite in Cape Town. The VMS is a group of 250 mostly Muslim doctors who founded the VMS to provide free health care to children and youth from Children’s Homes (Orphanages) in Cape Town. Each of the doctors donates one day a month to provide free health care to the homes. Most of the 250 doctors are dentists, but the VMS also includes paediatricians, family doctors, psychologists, counsellors, and general practitioners. Meaning we have a network of doctors we can access free of charge for all of our general medical needs, and all dental work is provided free of charge as well. Normally children in the townships do not have access to dentists for their general dental hygiene and only consult a dentist once a tooth is so rotten that it has to be extracted. “Fixing” a tooth with a filling is generally a luxury that most people in the townships cannot afford. Hence it is of great value to Vulamasango that all of our children (and staff!) receive free dental care of the highest standard through the Vision Medical Suite.
In addition to the VMS and the free medical care at the township clinics the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Vulamasango, Dr. Philip Ruether, also provides for the children's basic medical needs through his private practise. In order for him to provide medical care on site, we envision building an internal medical care facility for our resident children as part of Phase III or IV of the building process. Currently only phase I has been completed.