Steel in Action: ArcelorMittal’s R13m health facility

Steel manufacturing giant, ArcelorMittal South Africa, has rolled out another steel based structure, the Reamohetse Wellness Centre in Sebokeng, in what now forms a considerable trail within the group’s socioeconomic development projects.

The R13m Reamohetse Wellness Centre situated at the Sebokeng Hospital precinct has been hailed by observers as a critical social intervention. Other observers are watching the steady development of an alternative building materials trail in ArcelorMittal’s socioeconomic development projects trail.

The Reamohetse Wellness Centre structure joins the R45m newly built Mandela Park Primary School in Slovo Park, in Mthatha which was also done with steel based building technology. In 2010 ArcelorMittal delivered another steel based structure via the donation of the Meetse-A-Bopelo Primary School in Mamelodi.

In handing over the Reamohetse Wellness Centre to the Gauteng Depatment of Health, ArcelorMittal noted that “Apart from being a specialised medical facility, the wellness centre has been built with steel technology that provides numerous environmental conservation advantages.”

Some of these benefits, said the group, include the fact that the material is well insulated and energy efficient, has reduced low carbon emissions and is less labour intensive than masonry construction methods.

Handed over to the Gauteng MEC for Health, Hope Papo, the state-of-the-art Reamohetse Wellness Centre was characterised as a partnership between ArcelorMittal South Africa Foundation and the Gauteng Department of Health.

With the capacity to treat approximately 279 patients daily, 1395 patients weekly, 5580 patients monthly and 66960 per annum, the wellness centre will address the lack of adequate healthcare facilities for the disadvantaged communities residing in the Vaal Triangle, said ArcelorMittal.

Papo said the wellness centre will also fulfill a significant role in meeting the growing demand for healthcare in South Africa due to an increasing population and significant burden of disease due to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). It will also fulfil a pivotal role in meeting the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) mandate to have three million people receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment by 2015.

“According to statistics on the UNAIDS website 6.1 million South Africa citizens are living with HIV/Aids and an increasing number of people are becoming infected with drug-resistant TB strains. We are in need of more healthcare institutions such as the wellness centre to treat, maintain, educate and make those who are infected with the diseases lives as comfortable as possible, “says MEC for Health, Mr Hope Papo.

Construction of the centre lasted for twelve months. The project created employment opportunities and provided training for 36 local community members from local contractor Mthembu-Mvelase Civil Projects on the installation of Arval panels and roofing.

ArcelorMittal added that the wellness centre is equipped with the latest technology and  qualified medical professionals such as nurses, social workers, health promoters and counsellors  who will provide much needed professional and personal element. The facility will provide accessible integrated HIV and TBmedical treatment and care, disease management advice, social, psychological and peer support services. Further health services include advice for dietary plans, Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV and TB, implementing educational awareness campaigns on HIV/AIDS as well as TB prevention and management strategies for the community of Sebokeng and surrounding areas.

Themba Nkosi, General Manager of Corporate Affairs at ArcelorMittal South Africa said “ArcelorMittal South Africa understands that access to excellent healthcare is a fundamental entitlement of every individual and the company’s primary objectivethrough the provision of the wellness centre is to make a meaningful difference to the lives of its surrounding communities,”

Additional medical services available at the wellness centre include PAP smear examinations for women, male medical circumcisions, TB screening, HIV Counseling and Treatment, the treatment of hypertension and Diabetes, and referrals to local clinics for DOT support

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