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Philips and the Rhiza Foundation pilot Mobile Clinic to improve delivery of primary healthcare and enable healthier communities

  • "Health clinic on wheels” will service townships of Diepsloot, Cosmo City and Orange Farm in Johannesburg
  • Collaboration between Philips, Rhiza Foundation, Nozala Trust and IDC is an example of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) aimed at improving access to high-quality primary healthcare
  • Launch is part of the sixth consecutive Philips Cape Town to Cairo roadshow that maintains focus on maternal and child health

May 14, 2015

Johannesburg, South Africa - On the occasion of Philips’ sixth consecutive Cape Town to Cairo roadshow, Philips South Africa and the Rhiza Foundation today launched their “mobile clinic” project focusing on delivering basic primary healthcare to thousands of people living in townships that have little or no access to healthcare facilities.


A collaboration between Philips South Africa, Rhiza Foundation and corporate social investment partners Nozala Trust and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the mobile clinic is currently being deployed to service the populous townships of Diepsloot, Cosmo City and Orange Farm, in

Northern Johannesburg.


The main goal of the clinic is to improve the quality of life and provide access to health services, particularly access to maternal-child healthcare and dental care.

The mobile clinic vehicle

The Mobile Clinic vehicle, custom built on a mid-sized truck frame, operates as a “mini-health clinic on wheels” and provides an extremely versatile platform to deliver primary health care services, education and counseling. Measuring 10 meters by 2.5 meters, the mobile clinic is divided into two parts: a maternal and child care section and a dental care section.

Maternal screening allows for early detection of complications

According to the Philips Fabric of Africa trends report, women in Africa are at significant risk of premature death, with particular high mortality rates recorded in pregnancy. Women in semi-urban and rural areas across South Africa (in fact all of Africa) often die due to preventable complications during child birth as they have no access to ultrasound screenings to detect critical conditions. Many of these deaths can be diagnosed with basic imaging technology.

Philips has championed the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, related to reducing child mortality and improving maternal health; and the “mobile clinic” project conceptualized by the Rhiza Foundation offered a good synergy to address the issue of maternal and infant mortality.

Visiq image

Coming on board as the clinical technology partner in this project, Philips has equipped the Mobile Clinic with its innovative VISIQ ultrasound; the size of a tablet, the VISIQ is the first ultra-mobile ultrasound system from Philips. Approximately ten times smaller than a traditional ultrasound machine and with reduced energy consumption, the VISIQ ultrasound is ideally tailored for the mobile clinic and will be used for screening, triage and fetal well-being scans, all of which helps to address the critical issue of maternal and infant care prevalent across South Africa.


In addition, other diagnostic and maternal imaging technology such as the Philips Avalon Fetal Monitor (FM20) - to detect the baby’s heart beat and the uterus contractions and a Goldway Colposcope, to capture live images of the cervix have also been installed in the mobile clinic. Philips plasma screens with DVD player will be used to show patients educational videos when they visit the mobile clinic.


“In many African countries including South Africa, there is a chronic shortage of suitable equipment or necessary skills to facilitate safe delivery and appropriate newborn care, as well as dental care. By bringing healthcare directly to those most in need, shortens the waiting period and improves access which ultimately saves lives” states Jose Fernandes, General Manager, Philips Healthcare, Southern Africa. “Innovation as a means to improve people's lives is at the heart of who we are at Philips and we increasingly seek engagement and co-creation opportunities with organizations like the Rhiza Foundation that can result in making a difference in the lives of South Africa citizens."


The Mobile Clinic will be staffed by an-all women team of a registered nurse, a dental therapist, a dental assistant and a driver/ assistant, as one of the goals of the project is to empower and uplift women. The mobile clinic has the capacity to relocate without difficulty, allowing for increased patient care coverage. The clinic aims to enable treatment of hundreds of patients every month; this is the first pilot launch; the ambition is to scale it up to include more mobile clinics (five over the next five years in different communities) on the outcomes of the initial pilot launched today.


Alef Meulenberg, Chairman and Founder of Rhiza Foundation states, “Rhiza stands for community development at large, through education, skills and enterprise development as well as primary healthcare that makes a sustainable difference in township communities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Our goal is to make people self-sustaining, through our holistic approach regarding community and socio- economic development. We are extremely proud that the Mobile Clinic in collaboration with Philips and our other partners is being launched today; we are confident that it will provide and improve primary healthcare in township communities that currently lack regular access to these services.”

Second stop on the sixth Cape Town to Cairo roadshow

The launch of the Mobile Clinic formed part of Philips’ annual pan-African Cape Town to Cairo roadshow that kicked off on 11th May in Cape Town.  Johannesburg is the second stop on a journey covering 12,000 km across 11 cities and 8 countries over a period of 4.5 months. The roadshow has gained significant momentum over the past five years, allowing Philips to get to the heart of some of the key issues facing Africa –  including Mother and Child Care, the rise of non-communicable diseases, energy efficient LED and solar lighting solutions, as well as shining a spotlight on the need for clinical education and training.


Previous milestones of the roadshow include the inauguration of a high-tech Medical Simulation Lab at the University of Johannesburg, and a life-saving ambulance and response vehicle pilot project with the Gauteng Department of Health.


The next stop on the roadshow will be Nairobi, Kenya from 26-29, May 2015.


Follow the Cape Town to Cairo journey via Twitter @philipsSafrica.

For further information, please contact:

Radhika Choksey
Philips Group Communications - Africa  
Tel: +31 62525 9000

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 108,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

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