Covid puts strain on community pharmacy

Thembekile Mahintsho started a pharmacy in Joe Slovo twoyears ago.

A crowdfunding campaign has been started to help a young entrepreneur who provides a health service in Joe Slovo.

Thembekile Mahintsho, a 24-year-old accounting student, opened the township’s first pharmacy, Mangethe Medical Store, two years ago after his father died.

The store takes its name from Mahintsho’s clan name.

He used food bursary money and money from his mother to help him start the business.

The Covid-19 lockdown has left many without work and many more without the means to afford the basic schedule-zero medication stocked by Mr Mahintsho.

These are products such as aspirin and vitamins that can be sold in any store, and you don’t need a prescription for them.

Without the usual foot traffic in his store, Mr Mahintsho has turned to BackaBuddy for crowdfunding to keep his store afloat so he can continue helping the community.

“My sales have been affected by the lockdown, and this kind of financial backing could go a long way in helping.

“I need operational expense assistance so that I can continue bringing adequate medicine which will not be expensive for my clients.

“To help my cause, I’ve also started making my own products that help with skin irritation. Mangethe Medical Store has helped mothers with infants and children to have access to basic primary health care.”

Phateka Hintsa, of Joe Slovo, said she bought all her medication from Mangethe Medical Store.

“I feel bad that this lockdown has even affected him. What a nice young man, and the service he gives to the community is wonderful. I’ve donated to his crowdfunding initiative, and I hope he goes on to help more people.”

Thembekile said that if he reached his target, it would help him continue operating and give the community better health care.

“We can get a wider range of products to help people with specific health needs. One of the biggest goals is to be able to create job opportunities for the youth in our community,” he said.

People who are interested in donating to the crowdfunding can do so by clicking here.