Pholosong Hospital ‘Dr In My Classroom’ initiative helps Ekurhuleni learners make wise choices

Young professionals from Pholosong Hospital assist learners from surrounding schools tackle social ills. Picture: Supplied

Young professionals from Pholosong Hospital assist learners from surrounding schools tackle social ills. Picture: Supplied

Published Mar 31, 2024


Young professionals from across the Ekurhuleni municipality have once again joined the ‘Dr In My Classroom’ initiative to provide learners in schools with a much-needed confidence boost and advice on how to navigate the social ills plaguing them and their communities.

Launched during 2019 by Pholosong Hospital, the Dr In My Classroom initiative was kick-started to assist learners in schools across Tsakane, Kwa-Thema and Duduza to navigate the myriad challenges they encounter.

From the high incidences of suicide, teenage pregnancy, bullying and substance abuse, to creating awareness about mental and sexual health, young professionals hold peer-to-peer conversations with learners to empower and instil confidence in them.

Through this the hospital conducts weekly visits to schools on Fridays, to encourage learners to make smart life choices that would impact positively on their lives and studies.

While the initiative took a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was brought back as teachers from some of the schools who were able to see the positive impact called for its return.

Dr Lerato Makoro, a community service doctor at Pholosong Hospital who formed part of the programme during the first year of her medical internship, said she was proud to be part of a team that would be giving valuable lessons and giving back to the communities they work in.

“I always knew Pholosong Hospital had a soft spot for the their surrounding communities. However it is only after deciding to join the programme that I truly began to appreciate the extent of compassion the facility had towards its people,” said Makoro.

In the previous year, the hospital recorded a large number of young people attempting to end their lives, and well over 118 teenagers were admitted between June and August 2023.

Life orientation teacher at Tholulwazi Secondary School in Tsakane, Joy Mthethwa, applauded the programme for making a significant impact on learners and surrounding schools, especially in dealing with the prevalence of teenage pregnancy.

“Ever since the Dr In My Classroom initiative visited our school, pregnancy statistics have drastically dropped. I can truly attribute this to the engagements and confidence these young professionals have instilled in our learners,” Mthethwa said.

Saturday Star