Public Private Partnership to boost inner city health precinct

Hillbrow, Johannesburg‟s inner city residential neighbourhood, received a major boost today with the announcement of a Public Private Partnership to provide the area with maternal and child HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB) services.

Thousands of women and children living in this densely populated precinct will benefit from the partnership between Vodacom, Altron, Altech and the Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases (WRHI) to establish the Vodacom Altron Altech Centre for Specialised Services for the Gauteng Department of Health.

The Centre will be a vital component of the Hillbrow Health Precinct, the only one of its kind in the world in which a basket of health services is mobilising inner city renewal. It will be situated in the old operating theatre of the former Johannesburg General Hospital in Hillbrow, and will serve the approximately one million people living in one of the most densely populated areas of southern Africa.

Once renovations to the dilapidated buildings are complete, the Centre will become a hive of excellence for maternal and child health. Apart from HIV/Aids and TB care and services, it will train health care providers, community workers and researchers, and conduct world-class research into HIV prevention and management, infectious diseases, reproductive health and social science.

The renovation costs of R28-million will be contributed by major JSE listed companies Vodacom, Altron and Altech.

The public sector partners of the Hillbrow Health Precinct are WRHI, the Gauteng Department of Health and the City of Johannesburg. The project seeks to create a visionary, world-first health precinct addressing HIV, poverty and urban renewal in Johannesburg‟s inner city. It does so by delivering outstanding health services and health care worker training, in addition to developing best practice models and world-class research that is relevant to the African continent.

Commenting on the announcement of the partnership, Mthobi Tyamzashe, Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation said: “The Vodacom Altron Altech Centre for Specialised Services will constitute one of the key health projects supported by the Vodacom Foundation. We are excited at the possibilities created by this Public Private Partnership in enhancing child and maternal health and simultaneously contributing to inner city renewal through the Centre. It is also a demonstration of our commitment to complementing government efforts in the fight against HIV/Aids.”

“The Altron Group believes in the value of public and private partnerships as it provides a platform for meaningful intervention by the various partners to uplift and enhance the quality of life of all South Africans. We are proud to be playing a part in the renewal of the inner city of Johannesburg through the offering of vital health services,” said Seara Macheli-Mkhabela, Altron Group Executive: Corporate Affairs.

“Altech‟s involvement is an indication of our commitment to the widespread development of disadvantaged communities by focusing on areas with the maximum long-term benefits. This project will go a long way to reducing maternal and child HIV/Aids and TB infection rates in the province and uplifting the community in general,” said Johan Klein, Altech Group Executive: Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

Eugene Sickle, Head of Strategy and Development at the WRHI said: “The establishment of this Centre within the Hillbrow Health Precinct represents a „tipping point‟ for this project and creates a crucial focal point around which further development will take place. The public and private sector partners are to be congratulated for their extraordinary commitment to this endeavour. The WRHI has a long-standing commitment to work with the inner-city community around the provision of health services and issues of transformation. We recognise that partnerships of this nature are crucial to addressing the long-term challenges we face as a country.”

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Public Private Partnership to boost inner city health precinct