First Group of Health Promotion Officers Graduates

On Tuesday, 30 July 2019, TB HIV Care hosted a graduation ceremony for its new Health Promotion Officers in Khayelitsha. In May 2017, 14 community health workers (CHWs) from Khayelitsha were assessed and selected to attend a leanership, which was funded by the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA).

This group of CHWs were the first group to pilot the Health Promotion programme in the Western Cape by the Department of Health and HWSETA. Glen Lily Training College conducted the training on behalf of HWSETA. To assess their competence, the group had to write an external integrated examination at Northlink College, where they were deemed competent and issued with an NQF level 3 certificate in Occupational Health Promotion.

The graduation ceremony opened with a prayer, which was followed by song and dance – setting the tone for a celebratory occasion!

For Michelle Johnson (Training Coordinator), the project coordinator who managed the HWSETA project, it was exciting to see the group graduate:

“I feel extremely proud because, this was my first CHW leanership project and everybody did extremely well. To see the ladies graduate was a standout. I feel like it was the highlight of my career and bearing in mind their age, circumstances, family commitments etc., it just goes to show that when you are dedicated and passionate – age is nothing but a number.”

A big thank you to Michelle Johnson for all the hard work that went into managing this project, and for guiding our ladies through it.

Congratulations everyone! We look forward to seeing the next group graduate in September.

IAS 2019: Mexico City

TB HIV Care was well represented at the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science, which took place from 21 July to 24 July 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico.

The IAS Conference on HIV Science is the world’s most influential meeting on HIV research and features diverse topics, speakers and cutting-edge studies.

TB HIV Care’s Prof. Harry Hausler presented on isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) among key populations at a TB and HIV satellite session, while Dr Andrew Scheibe participated in an HIV and viral hepatitis pre-conference session – as well as sharing findings of South Africa’s harm reduction coverage and gaps in an oral presentation (see article below).

TB HIV Care also had several meetings and engagements with partners, including UNITE, GNP+ and others.

TB HIV Care’s harm reduction work received media coverage, and you can read the article here:
Low harm reduction coverage for people who inject drugs in South Africa

TB Advocacy Workshop for Civil Society Organisations

On Monday, 08 July and Tuesday, 09 July 2019, TB HIV Care (in our role as secretariat to the SA TB Caucus) co-hosted a TB Advocacy Workshop with SANAC (The South African National AIDS Council) at the Double Tree Hotel in Woodstock.

The workshop (which included local, regional and international delegates) focused on capacitating and empowering civil society organisations for TB advocacy, with a special focus on engaging parliamentarians and policymakers.
The workshop covered topics such as:

• An introduction to advocacy (including the difference between activism and advocacy, advocacy strategies and advocacy opportunities – esp. in our work to end TB)
• Engaging Members of Parliament
• Building relationships with civil society organisations and working with MPs
• Human rights for TB and HIV
• Current TB advocacy issues (including the UNHLM and SDG targets, Global Fund replenishment, TB financing, TB research & development, TB treatment)
• The role of CHWs, TB survivors, activists and communities in TB advocacy

A real highlight was the learnings and experience presented by the HIV community (including the history and accomplishments of the TAC) and the very personal experiences of TB survivors (TB Proof).

A goal of the workshop was to develop a 1-year advocacy plan for the SA TB Caucus, and breakaway groups worked hard to put tangible goals in place – including the establishment of a TB CSO Advisory Committee for the SA TB Caucus and a commitment to hold a National High Level Meeting on TB before the of the year.

Many thanks to Alison Best (Communications Manager) for helping to put the workshop together and to all the delegates for making it such an exciting, challenging and meaningful two days.