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Women to get free vitamin D from 'pay what you can' doctor

A South African health company, committed to helping fight malnutrition among women and children, is backing a philanthropic doctor's "pay what you can" services by donating vitamin D supplements worth R300,000 to his patients.
Kevin Coyne, Coyne Healthcare CEO
Kevin Coyne, Coyne Healthcare CEO

Coyne Healthcare said it was sending 2,000 units of high-quality BetterYou vitamin D oral sprays for pregnant women and infants to Dr Paulo de Valdoleiros’ practice immediately.

The Bloemfontein-based doctor has made headlines for accepting only what patients can afford for a consultation. Coyne Healthcare CEO, Kevin Coyne, said he supported De Valdoleiros’ philosophy of helping others, particularly disadvantaged pregnant women and infants who were most susceptible to malnutrition and illness.

Coyne said research showed that over half of South Africans may be deficient in vitamin D which may contribute to malnutrition or poor health. He said reports indicated that malnutrition affected one in four SA children and was one of the biggest contributors to childhood illness and death.

“We want to help fight malnutrition among the most vulnerable. Supporting Dr De Valdoleiros’ patients with high-quality vitamin D supplements is a start,” added Coyne.

De Valdoleiros said he was “immensely grateful” to Coyne’s contribution to “help me save lives”.

Originally from a poor Mozambican family, De Valdoleiros could not afford to study until 2007, when, aged 46, he enrolled at the University of Free State’s medical school. There he developed his belief that healthcare should focus on prevention rather than cure and should be available to all.

Coyne said he supported this approach, adding that his company’s products were largely aimed at helping prevent disease and could also be used with conventional medicine in an integrative healthcare regime.

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