Media Release

Basel, 12 March 2012

Second Transnet-Phelophepa Healthcare Train inaugurated in South Africa

Roche doubles its support for unique project providing healthcare to reach 90,000 patients a year in rural South Africa

Today, Transnet Foundation and Roche inaugurated a second Phelophepa Healthcare Train. The inauguration took place in Mount Ruth, near East London in South Africa and was attended by Dr. Franz Humer, Chairman of Roche, Malusi GIgaba, Minister of Public Enterprises of South Africa and Brian Molefe, Group Chief Executive of Transnet.

Having begun with three refurbished and equipped railway coaches, the Phelophepa train has grown to a clinic on rails with 18 coaches that provides healthcare in remote rural areas of South Africa. With this launch, the two trains will effectively double the capacity of the program to reach people in remote regions of South Africa who otherwise have little access to healthcare.

Roche sponsorship has been expanded and now covers the Primary Healthcare Clinic which includes a diabetes care programme and oncology clinic, a medicine dispensary, school health services and education programs for health workers and staff for both the original and the new train.

Over 5.5 million people have been reached since 1994, including those impacted by two large-scale HIV/AIDS education programmes and over 20,000 student doctors and nurses have had the opportunity to hone their skills on Phelophepa.

Franz Humer, Chairman of the Board of Roche commented on the launch “This is an immensely important philanthropic engagement for Roche. Roche is proud to have continuously grown its support for the Phelophepa healthcare train during the 18 years of our sponsorship, because Phelophepa has such a remarkable impact on the lives of thousands of people every year.”

Lynette Coetzee , the Manager of the Transnet Phelophepa train, added “Transnet greatly appreciates the support which Roche has granted to both Phelophepa I and Phelophepa II over all these years. The Roche Health Clinic is a central part of the train to provide a wide range of services to those who otherwise would have little access to such healthcare.”

About Phelophepa

Phelophepa (the name means ‘good, clean health’) is a clinic on rails that has been bringing basic medical care to remote regions of South Africa since 1994. The train is under way 36 weeks a year, visiting regions with inadequate access to medical services. The healthcare staff consists of 20 core employees and close to 30 student interns preparing for careers in a variety of health-related fields, who each do 14 days of volunteer service. Phelophepa has been described by its beneficiaries as “A Train of Hope” and “A Miracle Train,” bearing testimony to the dire need for basic health care in South Africa. Phelophepa has received the United Nations Public Service Award for its excellence in public service delivery. Additional information about the Transnet-Phelophepa Health Care Train is available under

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:

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