• The boat is launched to cross the Xhora River in Bulungula, South Africa (VOA/D.Taylor)
  • The ferryman rows the boat across the Xhora River … From left to right are American medical student Sam Partington and Buselwa Senyuko and Bongesi Gashe, who must journey to a distant clinic for medical help. (VOA/D.Taylor)
  • Buselwa Senyuko [front] and Sam Partington on their way to meet the ferry at the Xhora River (VOA/D. Taylor)
  • Senyuko, who cannot swim, is overjoyed after crossing the river successfully (VOA/D. Taylor)
  • Senyuko is coughing up blood, so she holds a cloth in front of her mouth. (VOA/D. Taylor)
  • On the way to the clinic, Bongesi Gashe picks up numerous empty medicine boxes and bottles that have been discarded by other ill people who’ve visited the health facility (VOA/D.Taylor)
  • The party of ill people must negotiate rough terrain, including a forest, to get to healthcare. (VOA/D. Taylor)
  • After walking for two hours, Bongesi Gashe reaches Nkanya Clinic (VOA/D. Taylor)
  • Gashe waits with a crowd of people to receive medical attention at Nkanya Clinic (VOA/D.Taylor)
  • Sixteen year old Thembakazi Mdluli waits for a nurse to see her sick infant son.(VOA/D. Taylor)
  • Therapist Azel de Villiers demonstrates the use of female condoms at Nkanya Clinic (VOA/D. Taylor)
  • De Villiers distributes female condoms at Nkanya Clinic, despite the items being taboo in the area.(VOA/D. Taylor)

A Trip to a Health Clinic in South Africa's Bulungula District

Published March 04, 2013

For millions of South Africans, getting access to healthcare means risking their lives whenever they’re ill. Clinics and hospitals are rare in some parts of their country … Especially in extremely isolated areas such as Bulungula in the Eastern Cape province. Here, people must undertake dangerous and arduous journey’s to reach their closest health facility. And even when they do, it’s not certain that they’ll be helped.

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