Frontline Health Worker: Prince Maletje
“Homeless people need to be treated with dignity and respect”
Prince Maletje is a 33-year-old South African who was born and raised in Limpopo province, an extremely rural part of the country. He’s a Clinical Associate, which is like a Physician Assistant here in the US.
South Africa launched the ClinA program at three universities as a way to rapidly train and deploy health workers, particularly to rural and under-served parts of the country.
Prince provides community-oriented primary care and street medicine, serving some of the most vulnerable people in Pretoria. He rotates through different sites, including the Tshwane District Outpatient Department, homeless shelters, an HIV/AIDS Clinic in inner-city Pretoria, and local parks and other gathering spots for homeless and disenfranchised people.
“A homeless person may be dirty with torn clothes or may not smell as good as you do, but this individual is a human being who is just not as lucky as you are,” says Prince. “Homeless people need to be appreciated … they need to be treated with dignity and respect.”