South Africa: The SA Military Health Services outreach in Project Owethu has made an impact in bridging health support and services to rural communities in the KwaZulu-Natal province in the backdrop of the 2023 Armed Forces Day Celebrations.
Project Owethu is an opportunity for the South African National Defence Force to go into the most side-lined communities in the country and bring them much needed basic services, particularly remotely located rural areas and child headed homes.
During the Interview with the General Officer Commanding Area Military Health Formation, Brigadier General Mcebisi Mdutywa; highlighted that Project Owethu is not solely a SA Military Health Service initiative or an SA National Defence Force project but they are in partnership with the relevant arms of government from the national to provincial, municipal and district as well as relevant community organisations; such as the department of home affairs, health, agriculture and social development.
General Mdutywa mentioned that the South African Medical Health Service is able to access areas that non-military vehicles made for the urban environment cannot and is able to work safely under armed protection from the SA National Defence Force members.
He assured that the SA Military, together with their partners, will continue taking care of the most vulnerable by giving them a chance to have a quality life by treating those who are partially blinded by cataracts and giving a smile to those in need of dentures, among others. The SA Military Health Service also vaccinated domestic animals and livestock.
The youth were also encouraged to apply for the two-year Military Skills Development System (MSDS) programme, which in turn will create breadwinners and transfer skills so that when they are finished, they can either apply to join the regular force or return better equipped to find employment in civilian life.
Project Owethu will not only be limited to KwaZulu-Natal, and it is also an ongoing intervention intended to become an essential part of the SA National Defence Force.