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The Health Train - 16th July 2021 view all

This train in South Africa is different. It’s not taking people anywhere. It’s bringing healthcare to people.

The train helps poor people. It has medical equipment and doctors on it. Lots of people come to get help.

Student Retshephile Mosena needs glasses. But she couldn’t get an eye test. She doesn’t have enough money.

Restshepile Mosena: "Glasses are really expensive! Eye tests are expensive and the glasses are even more expensive, so I couldn't really afford them at the time, ja. So I was kind of saving up to buy glasses for myself, but this opportunity came up and I took it."

South Africa is rich. But many people are poor. Healthcare is too expensive for them.

Optician Thompho Sadiki checks people’s eyes. He likes helping people.

Thompho Sadiki: "It's, it’s, it’s great, it's great. Some, sometimes you, you, you, you can even hear it from the, you know, from the heart when you are helping someone who, who has never been exposed to, to health service. Then you can see – well yeah – you have done something for, for, for someone, yes."

The health train works 9 months every year. It started in 1994. This is when Black South Africans became free.

It started with three coaches. It only helped with eye problems.

Now, with 19 coaches, it can help with many problems. Many places need its help.

Thelma Sateka is the train manager.

Thelma Sateke: "Well, the hundred percent health coverage is, is still not about to be reached any time soon. So, the train still has a lot to do in that regard to bring the services to the rural areas, where services are non-existent at some point or, or they are very rare." view less

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