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Proactive youth bring care closer to injured workers beyond SA’s borders

30 March 2017

RMA invests in additional support for Malawian beneficiaries

Two young men performing a good deed caught the attention of RMA Mobile Clinic staff in Malawi. Rand Mutual (RMA) has provided them with training and they will soon be providing assistance to injured workers under RMA’s care in the greater Lilongwe and Blantyre districts.

“A number of RMA beneficiaries, who have been pensioned following occupational injuries in the mining and related industries, reside in neighbouring countries, including Malawi,” explains Dr Deodat Kritzinger, General Manager: Medical of RMA.

“Our RMA Mobile Clinic travels throughout Southern Africa, including to remote rural areas in South Africa and Malawi, each year visiting our beneficiaries to perform maintainance on their prosthetics and wheelchairs, or replace them, as needed.

“During the mobile prosthetic clinic’s annual trip to Malawi last year, two young men approached our team at Lilongwe to volunteer their assistance. They showed great enthusiasm in helping out in and around the clinic, and their compassion for RMA’s disabled beneficiaries was clearly evident.

“The young men, whose names are Rabson Zakalia and Fountain Kamanga, demonstrated a strong desire to help others, which strongly resonates with RMA’s ethos of caring, compassionate compensation. They showed such potential that our mobile clinic team motivated for them to come to South Africa for training so that they could continue their good work for the benefit of our Malawi pensioners,” Dr Kritzinger adds.

Rabson and Fountain received a month of training in basic healthcare, as well as administrative and reporting skills. This has empowered these young men to perform home visits that will expand the range of services available to RMA beneficiaries in and around the Lilongwe and Blantyre districts.

“They will be assisting with wound care, the maintenance of prosthetics and wheelchairs, as well as general health management. They will also be responsible for reporting back on our pensioners’ progress and any concerns they might have, and will help to expand the existing support services we provide for beneficiaries beyond South Africa’s borders,” Dr Kritzinger observes.

In the 122 years since RMA was founded to administer workers’ compensation, advances in health and safety regulations and industry-driven initiatives have made significant inroads in the prevention of occupational injuries. In heavy industry, however, accidents do still occur from time to time, and it is RMA’s role to provide ongoing medical treatment and compensation in accordance with the terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA).

“As part of this responsibility, we have established a network of healthcare providers near our beneficiaries. If a disabled RMA pensioner needs to travel long distances to access healthcare, we offer assistance with their transport, both to and from the health facilities, to help make the process more convenient for them. Rabson and Fountain will provide a further layer of support and assistance,” Dr Kritzinger adds.

“Through training these two young men, who are trusted members of the community and fluent in the local language, as field workers we are confident that they will be well positioned to assist our beneficiaries and offer them greater convenience. We hope that these proactive and compassionate young men will inspire others with their community-mindedness. We wish them a bright future, and a long and fruitful relationship with RMA and its pensioners,” Dr Kritzinger concludes.

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