Unjani Clinic is dedicated to bringing quality, affordable healthcare services to communities across South Africa. By building a successful network of clinics that are owned and run by professional nurses, we are empowering black women, improving access to quality healthcare, and creating employment in our communities.
Our programme is designed to empower black women nurses within their own communities to:
In honour of Women’s Month, it is only right that we highlight the brave and independent nurses and clinic assistants who represent the Unjani network, and who have put so much time and effort into building it into what it is today.
Women’s Month also gives us a great opportunity to share the story of one of the very first Clinic Nurses to join our network. Nomsa Zazayokwe, owner and operator of Unjani Clinic Villa Lisa and Unjani Clinic Vosloorus, will celebrate 10 years in operation this year, and her story has been intertwined with Unjani since our humble beginnings.
A strong background in healthcare
Nomsa boasts a long history as a professional healthcare worker. Her long list of qualifications include a general qualification in nursing care, a diploma in nursing education, a diploma in nursing administration, and a qualification in commodity health and education. This solid foundation led her to working at a government hospital as a nursing tutor, as well as introducing an AIDS education programme to train other healthcare workers in prevention and counselling.
After being recruited by the Minister of Health to assist with the roll-out of ARVs, she happened to be made aware of the Unjani Clinic programme, which was still in its infancy. She joined the pilot clinic and has been with Unjani ever since.
A dedication to serving the community
Nomsa has always been driven to provide meaningful health services to her community, and even as she reached retirement age, she was still helping those in need around her. Before joining Unjani, she was looking to spend more time with her patients in order to provide them with a higher quality of care, and had already started branching out on her own. The Unjani opportunity allowed her to embrace this calling, gaining the support she needed to take her community health offering to the next level.
The kickstart needed to deliver high-quality healthcare
As she had never owned a clinic or any other business, Nomsa was at a loss as to where to start. Unjani Clinic was able to get her on her feet, ensuring that she met all the requirements of a new clinic. This included supporting her in securing the facility, marketing, setting up, supplying medications, assisting with the meeting of compliance regulations, and everything else needed to get her up and running.
Once the clinic was ready for business, Unjani set out a strategic business plan, enabling Nomsa to turn her clinic into a thriving business that delivered empathetic care to all around her. Once the Villa Lisa clinic took off, Nomsa was able to establish a second Unjani Clinic in Vosloorus, expanding her patient base and offering her high-quality services to even more people.
A holistic approach to healthcare
One of the main things Nomsa appreciates about the Unjani model is that it encourages a holistic approach to healthcare – not only looking at the physical, but the mental, emotional and psychological as well. Combined with the incredibly affordable prices offered at Unjani Clinics, she feels that she has been able to provide the level of care she has always wanted to offer, supporting her patients in every way she can.
10 years of success
After a decade of delivering healthcare services, Nomsa attributes her success to being honest with her patients and doing everything she can to support them in every way. This means that, if a patient asks a question she can’t answer, she will either refer them to someone else, or do extra research to give them the right answer. This is all part of her commitment to going above and beyond to help her patients, making their problem her problem and trying everything she can to take care of them.
This attitude towards complete empathetic care has led her to treat her patients like family, and vice versa. Many of her patients call her ‘mama’ or ‘gogo’, and will often come back to check in on her and see how she’s doing – even if they have moved to another town.
Plans for the future
Today, Nomsa understands that she’s growing older and needs to hand over the clinic to the next generation of empathetic nurses. For the next 2 years, she will focus on training permanent sisters, maintaining the family atmosphere and caring culture that she has built at both Unjani Clinic Villa Lisa and Unjani Clinic Vosloorus.
And whatever the future holds, Nomsa feels happy and fulfilled by the services she has been able to provide to the people she cares about most – her community.