Imperial Health Sciences' clinic initiative scoops award
Imperial Health Sciences’ Unjani Clinic initiative won the Investing in the Future and Drivers of Change Business Award at the recent Investing in the Future Awards, hosted by the Mail & Guardian and Southern Africa Trust.
This annual event is aimed at recognising and honouring good corporate citizenship.
Following an investment of more than R7 million in its Unjani Clinics project, Imperial Logistics group company Imperial Health Sciences became the first private sector organisation in South Africa to start a nurse owned and operated primary healthcare network.
Imperial Health Sciences managing director Dr Iain Barton stressed that there is an urgent need for transformation in South Africa’s health system, where almost 90 percent of the country’s population relies on the stretched and under-resourced public healthcare system.
“Our aim is to contribute to this transformation with the setup of a network of franchised ‘Unjani Clinics’, which meet the need for primary healthcare in poor communities by providing essential medicines and education at the point of need.”
He explained that the clinics are owned and operated by professional nurses. He said: “Thus, in addition to providing an affordable and accessible service for the poor who would otherwise spend vast amounts of time and incur travel costs to receive attention at a state healthcare facility, it also empowers black women, by creating entrepreneurial opportunities for professional nurses.”
The franchise model sees the professional nurse increasing her ownership share annually based on an agreement with Imperial Health Sciences.
“Further employment opportunities are created due to the need for administration support staff at the clinic, as well as cleaners and other service providers. “Each clinic creates between three and five sustainable jobs, and produces real, localised enterprise development that empowers women,” Barton adds.
The judges of the Investing in the Future Awards praised Unjani for its partnerships, rating it as “a feeder model that works in rural areas. It’s innovative and can be replicated,” the judges said.
The pilot Unjani Clinic has been operating in Etwatwa, Gauteng, for two years. Imperial Health Sciences now has seven fully franchised Unjani Clinic units – at Etwatwa, Orange Farm, Nellmapius, Bram Fischerville, Villa Lisa in Gauteng; at Kwaggafontein in Mpumalanga; and Delft in the Western Cape.
Based on the success of the project to date - each of the seven clinics sees between 150 and 500 patients per month – the company plans to establish a national network of 400 Unjani Clinics in the next five years.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”