Joe Slovo residents near Milnerton have gone from having to find taxi fare when in need of medication to walking down the street, thanks to 22-year-old student Thembekile Mahintsho, who has started the area’s first pharmacy.
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology student did this using money from his National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) food voucher.
“I started it in June with around R7 000 saved from my NSFAS food voucher. I was also saving some of the money my mother gave me as an allowance.”
Mahintsho said he didn’t want other people to have little access to health care, like his father.
“My father’s leg started swelling. I was looking forward to going down to see him in the Eastern Cape during the December holidays, but he died before I made it there. If he had access to proper health care he could have been alive.
“I was really affected by that. He was a role model to me.”
Mahintsho did research and found people had to travel to town or to malls to get access to medicine.
“I sell schedule zero over-the-counter medicines because I don’t have a licence. I would like to expand, and when I do I would like to get a licence and offer more services. I also want to go and do this in other communities.”
He said the store had been well received, with people visiting daily.
“They come back because I treat their health issues with confidence and I am trying to be there for them. I also deliver to those who can’t come and get their medication. The community is proud.
“Everyday, people come here with sick children, and if they don’t have money, I give them the medication, write it in my book and let them pay later.”
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