Unjani Clinics recently announced a pioneering partnership with Johnson & Johnson (Pty) Ltd and other Johnson & Johnson companies to improve the access and quality of primary healthcare available to low-income communities throughout South Africa. The innovative Unjani model focuses on increasing training and business resources to nurses and expanding access to affordable primary healthcare services. With a current footprint of 20 clinics – all funded by the Imperial Group to date – it is intended to scale to 50 clinics throughout the country by 2018.
South Africa is experiencing a shortage of trained doctors with an average of only one doctor available for every 1,000 people. As a result, the bulk of primary healthcare services in rural districts and townships are performed by skilled nurses. Training and business resources for nurses are scarce, however, limiting the level of responsiveness that primary healthcare clinics can provide to local communities.
Unjani’s unique service delivery model empowers nurses – the clinic owners – to become community health entrepreneurs, providing them with a local health center that consists of a 12-meter converted shipping container, medical equipment, as well as ongoing medical, financial management and patient service training.
“In our effort to deliver innovative approaches to public health challenges, we seek out strategic partners, such as Unjani, who are applying creative, proven, locally-driven health solutions that can be scaled nationally and regionally,” said Laura Nel, Communication Lead for Johnson & Johnson in South Africa. “Our collaboration with Unjani in South Africa is part of Johnson & Johnson’s broader commitment to improving public health. We are harnessing our collective breadth and scale, with support from the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in South Africa and the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust, whilst partnering locally with organizations like Unjani, in order to deliver solutions that meet some of the world’s most crucial health challenges.”
Unjani Clinics have provided more than 110,000 South Africans with a number of health services, including primary healthcare services, vision screening, wellness services and chronic disease management. One of the goals of the collaboration between Johnson & Johnson companies and Unjani is to establish additional clinics, thereby creating additional jobs and treating up to 240,000 patients annually through the Unjani Clinic Network.
“We have an opportunity to deliver a level of care to vulnerable populations that has never been achieved before,” said Lynda Toussaint, CEO of Unjani Clinics. “Our objective is to continue to incubate novel, sustainable community health practices in South Africa and potentially in neighboring countries. Our partnership with Johnson & Johnson provides an important catalyst to delivering on the promise of better healthcare for all South Africans.”
“Unjani Clinics are making an important difference in the health outcomes of South Africa’s underserved communities,” said Nel. “Our collaboration with Unjani supports Johnson & Johnson’s strategy to strengthen healthcare workforces around the world. We are excited to begin this important partnership and to explore opportunities that will expand Unjani’s capacity to serve low-income populations.”