– Serving the people, fulfilling their mandate
Midwife Elizabeth Austin is in charge of the Sandvoort Health Centre and is also from the community and has good relations with the people crediting it to her open-door policy where no one is turned away.
With the motto “Service above self” in mind, Austin told the Pepperpot Magazine that no one is turned away who shows up for medical services because they are there to serve the people.
“We have gained the trust of the people, and that is our goal because we want people to feel comfortable coming here, and they can relate to us what is happening to them medically so we can help through medicines,” she said.
She, however, pointed out that there is a need for an in-house doctor at the Sandvoort Health Centre because a lot of people would visit to see the doctor that visits twice weekly.
Austin is aided by three other staffers: a Nursing Assistant, a Clinic Attendant, and a Community Health Worker.
They collectively provide a reliable service that is free to the people, including post and prenatal, infant and child health, family planning, general outpatient, chronic diseases clinic, and home visits.
Austin reported that patients with seasonal illnesses would seek medical intervention and more people would visit to see the doctor, who would visit every Tuesday and Friday.
The Sandvoort Health Centre is a neat, clean little building with a dressing room, a nurses’ lunch room, triage area, waiting area with seating, a kitchen, washroom facilities, child-friendly corner, a vaccine room and a doctor’s area.
Austin has been at the facility for the past 20 years, and being a local, she is familiar with all the villagers and can relate to them daily.
The government-owned facility is open from 08:00hrs to 16:30hrs from Monday to Friday and is a well-kept place.
The Caracas/Wyburg NDC
The Vice Chairman of the Caracas/Wyburg Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) is Ganganauth Mahadeo, who reported that the NDC is divided into three constituencies: Caracas, Vryheid/Lochaber and Sandvoort.
He stated that Sandvoort is a tranquil, safe neighbourhood, and it is a farming village where the people are very hard working.
Mahadeo added that with the recent flooding, Sandvoort was affected, and at the NDC level, they have partnered with the regional administration and Central Government to bring relief to the people, especially farmers.
He explained that a hymac was there to upgrade the drainage system and tubing is needed to stop the backwater from entering the farmlands.
Mahadeo reported that the tubing is being procured for the koker.
He disclosed that the NDC was formed in 2018 and they do not collect rates and taxes because it is new, so they do not have resources to lend assistance to the locals.
But by the end of this year, they will begin the collection of rates and taxes and they will be able to do more for the villages under their NDC.
The Caracas/Wyburg NDC has six councillors and the Chairman is Cheemanlall Youardhan and for the first time in years, Sandvoort Village was flooded, which affected farmers and caused a loss in crops and livestock.
The 67-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that Sandvoort Village was a Dutch plantation and is divided into two sections, the English and the Dutch.
The mother of two stated that the village has a lot of people, who leave for work such as nurses, soldiers, policemen, teachers, but most people are farmers and self-employed folk.
The village has a few small shops and things are within reach and Sinclair likes the quietness and peace of the place.
“Although I lived abroad for some time, here is home and I am proud to be from Sandvoort Village, the place of my birth; our fore-parents were here and we have to stay to maintain our heritage so this will always be home,” she said.
Sinclair, like many others, have a lot of family members living next to each other and this village is made up of many such families, making it a very close-knit community.