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Posted By Jo Burt, Volunteer on April 19, 2013
Jo Burt is a nurse from Payson, Utah with over 40 years of experience in surgery, intensive care, orthopedics and nursing administration. She spent two months in early 2013 volunteering for the diabetes and hypertension project at the HOPE Centre in Zandspruit, South Africa with her sister Dottie Newsome, who is also a nurse.
The HOPE Centre Clinic in Zandspruit, South Africa, an extremely poor area with approximately 70,000 residents, is a great asset to the community.The HOPE Centre provides easy access to treatment and care that, in the past, had not been accessible to this community.The HOPE Centre also strives to inform, educate and empower the local community about health issues – especially hypertension and diabetes.
Project HOPE has already provided hypertension and diabetes screenings to more than 1,700 people in the community. Community health care workers have been trained to do the screenings, which include height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure (both arms) and random blood glucose. Those who have been screened and are in the moderate or high-risk categories are referred to the HOPE Centre clinic for further screening and possible treatment.
One of the other great benefits I have witnessed at the HOPE Centre is the fact that local residents are trained and become employed by Project HOPE.The Centre provides much needed employment for members of the Zandspruit community, who then go on to become advocates for their patients and the HOPE Centre.It has been a genuine privilege to provide leadership and training to these young people, and I know that their lives will be improved by having this opportunity.