Target: Phelophepa Train of Hope
Goal: Thank the Phelophepa Train for providing access to affordable healthcare for South Africa’s poor and rural communities
Since 1994, the Phelophepa train – sometimes called the ‘Train of Hope’ has been providing general health, optometry, dental care, and psychological health services to the country’s rural poor. Nelson Mandela ensured healthcare would be a constitutional right by mandating that eighty percent of South Africans be provided access to healthcare through the public health care system. However, there remains a disparity between blacks’ and whites’ access to healthcare – largely because of the price and locations of hospitals.
The Phelophepa train plays a part in solving both these problems by bringing healthcare to rural parts of the country at very affordable rates. One patient said that the eyeglasses he received would have cost him $140 if he had gone to a doctor in town, but the volunteers only charged him four. The affordability of the medications is vital to the Train’s success.
Even after the train has left, the Train of Hope’s health education clinic further closes the disparity of access to healthcare. Though its total patients now number over fourteen million, it is difficult to tell how much quality of life has been improved for the communities that have been visited by the Phelophepa train.
A second train was launched in 2012 allowing the program to effectively serve 100,000 patients each year.
Truly, the Train of Hope is representative of Nelson Mandela’s legacy. Sign this petition to commend the Phelophepa train as it continues bridging the gaps between blacks and whites and providing access to a fundamental right to the disadvantaged.
Dear Lynette Coetzee, Transnet Health Manager, Phelophepa train
Thank you for all of the work that you, Transnet, and the volunteers on the Phelophepa ‘Train of Hope’ have done to provide affordable healthcare to South Africa’s rural poor. Access to affordable healthcare is a worldwide issue, but your work to lessen the effects of apartheid on healthcare disparity is inspiring.
Again, thank you for representing the legacy of Nelson Mandela by serving 100,000 South African citizens each year. The Phelophepa train champions human rights and equality each day by bringing health care and health education to the disadvantaged in South Africa.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dewet via Wikimedia Commons