Marie Stopes South Africa launched their newly refurbished women’s healthcare centre at Ghandi Square in Central Johannesburg with the aim of empowering women with the freedom to have children by choice, not chance.
To open the launch event, Marie Stopes staff members broke out into song which enhanced the welcoming atmosphere. This was followed by an inspiring address by special guest speaker Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (AKA Dr T emphasised the importance of reproductive health for all women including those who can and can’t afford it, those from South Africa and those seeking asylum illegally in the country as well as transgendered people who are often excluded from receiving reproductive care.
Next up, Marie Stopes’ Country Director, Blum Khan highlighted the importance of the centre’s location in Ghandi Square, particularly as it is situated in the heart of Johannesburg and is easily accessible to everyone. This was followed by a speech from Marie Stopes’ Northern Region Regional Clinical Manager, Brenda Bamuzo, who spoke on the importance of making Marie Stopes a place that is not intimidating and solely seen as a safe abortion care provider. “This branch will be an important step towards doing so by providing clients with an accommodating atmosphere from the moment they walk through our doors.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony by Dr T officially marked the opening of the centre and was followed by a tour of the facility for members of the media and Marie Stopes’ partners. While all the festivities were taking place inside the venue, staff were outside handing out brochures and giving members of the public a brief understanding of the offerings available at the centre.
Open from 08:30 to 19:00 on weekdays and from 08:30 to 17:00 on Saturdays, the new facility will provide women with a safe, affordable, confidential and high-quality service that gives them control over their own health and fertility. Services offered include safe abortion care; pap smears; women’s health screenings; HIV counselling and testing; screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); contraception consultations and provision; as well as the dispensing of emergency contraception.
For more information, visit https://www.mariestopes.org.za.