Bringing hope and care for over 20 years
5 October 2021
The two Phelophepa trains are designed to provide comprehensive primary healthcare to communities.
With great excitement, the community flocked to the rail station on Monday, 27 September, to welcome the Phelophepa train from Transnet. The trains spend 35 weeks each year on the rails, and visits 70 stations annually to provide healthcare at the bare minimum of costs. The staff members on board, ranging from 20-30 highly qualified individuals, provides health, oral and vision screening, as well as laying out the groundwork for basic health education. Each year, an approximate 360 000 residents within its route receive the utmost care. Phelophepa, pronounced as pay-lo-pe-pa, means good, clean health. Brought to life in 1994 as a three-coach eye clinic project, the train has grown to reach 375 000 people every year.
The two Phelophepa trains are designed to provide comprehensive primary healthcare to communities. The programme also covers sanitary and life skills support to both boys and girls. In conjunction with Transnet’s outreach programmes, they have reached over 20 million people since inception. All services are offered in the coaches are on a first-come, first-served basis. It offers healthcare education, a complete physical assessment, cancer treatments, pap smears, prostate cancer testing, eye care clinic services, a dental clinic, dental screening, and extracting and cleaning of teeth. This includes counseling and psychology clinic services. The train also features a fully equipped pharmacy. Coming from the previous stops, Mbombela and Carolina, it now stands in Ermelo until 8 October 2021, and will lastly stop at Bethal to provide much needed care.