by | Sep 10, 2019 | News, Press Releases

The Transnet-Phelophepa Healthcare Train brings health and hope to citizens that are in need of access to health-care facilities from 16 to 20 September 2019, and again from 23 to 26 September 2019 (including the public holiday on 24 September).

The Healthcare Train helps thousands of rural South Africans annually in need of access to health-care facilities.

The Phelophepa Train services include a healthcare clinic, eyecare clinic, dental clinic, and a counselling and psychology clinic.

Free healthcare services offered include:

  • Healthcare education
  • A complete physical assessment
  • Cancer treatments
  • Pap smear
  • Prostate cancer testing (PSA blood test).

Patients pay R5 for the entire script of medicines.

Eyecare clinic services include:

  • Free eye tests
  • Spectacles @ R30. The eye clinic does not issue bi-focal lenses.
  • Eye drops @ R5.

Note: The eye clinic does not offer eye operations.

Counselling and psychology clinic services include:

  • One-on-one sessions
  • Workshops targeting schools, communities, workers, teachers
  • Topics covered include leadership, drug and alcohol abuse, sexuality and tools to deal with physical and emotional abuse

Dental clinic

  • Free screening and education
  • Extract and cleaning of teeth @ R10

*** For more information, call Wajdi Abrahams on 082 874 9873 or Eunice Adonisi on 082 086 6392.

All the health services are free to children 15 years and younger. All services are offered on a first come, first served basis. Bring along your clinic card and child’s immunisation certificate.

The train opens at 08h00 and closes at 14h00. Each patient will be issued with a sticker upon their arrival. Patients are encouraged to come early.

The Phelophepa train arrives in Saldanha on 14 September and opens for service to the public on Monday 16 September 2019 at Saldanha Station. Services will end early on Friday 27 September, the last day of the Saldanha stay.

A transport plan has been developed, covering all towns within the Saldanha Bay Municipal area. Community members from all towns are requested to register at their local clinics and obtain a referral letter from the clinic, in order to access the transport.


The Transnet-Phelophepa Healthcare Train – the world’s first primary healthcare hospital on wheels – uses the existing rail network in South Africa to make quality medical care an accessible reality for many of South Africa’s most remote communities.

This nineteen-coach train, with its twenty resident staff members, fondly known as the “miracle train”, carries the most modern medical equipment on board.

Phelophepa is indeed a journey of hope that continues to make a history of caring. The name ‘Phelophepa’ combines elements of Sotho and Tswana and, roughly translated, means ‘good, clean health’ – which is exactly what this travelling health clinic provides.

The first of our much-loved Phelophepa Health Trains started operating in 1994. The Phelophepa Health Train has shown incredible growth since its humble beginnings as a three-carriage eye clinic.

The train travels for 35 weeks each year visiting a different rural community every week or two weeks throughout eight provinces. The success of the Transnet-Phelophepa Healthcare Train, together with the increased demand for healthcare services set in motion plans for another train. That dream became a reality when the second train, Phelophepa II, began operation in March 2012.

Although the Transnet-Phelophepa Healthcare Trains can only be in an area for a limited time, the goal is to supplement and support existing facilities to make sure the residents can continue benefitting from quality healthcare once the train has departed. Education and empowerment that leave better equipped and informed communities in its tracks is a core value of the Phelophepa programme.

  • Before the train rolls into town, teams are sent out to alert the community of the days the train will be delivering services. A comprehensive social mobilisation strategy is developed and implemented in collaboration with all of the local stakeholders in each community.
  • Relationships are established with the existing healthcare providers so that patients can be referred and continue to receive the care they need.
  • While the train is in the area, screening and healthcare education are the primary concerns. Nursing teams visit local schools to screen children for health-related problems and educate them about basic healthcare.


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