2019 News

Benchmarking Best Practices in Viral Load Monitoring

TB HIV Care, led by Mandisa Mona (Advanced Clinical Care Facilitator), joined a team of ten delegates, including representatives from TB HIV Care’s Chris Hani district office, SEAD and the Chris Hani District Department of Health (DOH), on a four-day visit (26 February – 01 March) to Durban. The trip was organised by CAPRISA.

The purpose of the visit was to benchmark best practices in viral load monitoring and recognition of treatment failure; learn strategies to increase viral load coverage in ART clients; share Advanced Clinical Care (ACC) tools utilised for improved patient outcomes and share M&E tools for reporting purposes. All of which contribute to moving closer to achieving the third target of UNAIDS’ 90-90-90 goals (that by 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression).

The best practices will be piloted in the Chris Hani health district, with relevant stakeholders prioritising 10×10 facilities and escalated to other facilities supported by TB HIV Care in Amathole and OR Tambo.

The team also visited Clairwood Hospital (Thusong ARV Clinic) where ART patients with complications are managed.  They were taken step-by-step through the management process of these patients.

Thanks so much to all involved.

Thuma Mina Campaign in Amathole

The Amathole District Department of Health (DoH) has embarked on the Thuma Mina (Send Me) project, which aims to bring health services to far-flung, rural communities.

The campaign had activities planned for three days in Mnquma Local Municipality (Amathole) from 18- 21 February. Gcina, with seven villages and Chebe with six villages were the areas identified in Mnquma to host the event. Communities in these areas are serviced by only three health facilities – all on average about 5km- 10km away. 

During the three days, integrated services were offered, including HTS, consultation of all clients by nurses and specialised care (which included: eye care, ENT, dental care, gynaecological care, social care and even application of identity documents and birth certificates).

Youth clinics and dialogues were led by TB HIV Care staff to make sure that the youth are not left behind.

TB HIV Care’s HTS and Care & Treatment teams worked passionately and with dedication, providing much-needed quality care to those communities.

The event received support by the attendance of the DoH district office, sub-district and provincial HAST Managers.

Well done to all those who made the event possible!

Dimbaza Bike Project allows HAST Counsellors to reach more households

The Informal Settlements Programme (IS) provides the comprehensive prevention package (CPP), including TB screening and testing, HIV testing and counselling and STI screening, to contacts of TB cases and community members in three informal settlements in the Eastern Cape: Dimbaza, Duncan Village and Reeston. 

TB HIV Care, in partnership with the Pedal Power Association (PPA), is piloting a bicycle project in Dimbaza Informal Settlement (Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality). The PPA donated three  bicycles to carry out the pilot project, with hopes of expanding the programme should it prove to be a success. TB HIV Care is hoping that the introduction of bicycles will make a significant difference in increasing  the number of households reached and assist with the distance that HAST Counsellors can cover (in order to reach far-flung households). 

The idea was initiated when the IS Programme received funding from dhk thinkspace to allocate to an area described as a ‘limited services area’ – such as Dimbaza. TB HIV Care used these funds to purchase suitable walking shoes for the team (who often walk great distances), and will also support the bicycle project with accessories needed for safety.

The bike handover ceremony took place at Dimbaza Community Health Centre on Friday, 08 February 2019. The event went extremely well, with TB HIV Care staff, Dimbaza CHC staff and community members overjoyed and excited about the project. What excites them most is that Dimbaza CHC is the first facility in the Eastern Cape to pilot this kind of project. If the project is a success there is every chance that it will be rolled out to other areas in the province. Everyone present was singing, sharing traditional songs of praise and rejoicing in the donation of the bicycles. It is worth noting that while the event was happening, delivery of health services to community members continued as normal. 

Many thanks to Nomgcobo Puta (Team Leader: Informal Settlements) who acted as programme director for the day, Zimkhitha Mphati (Project Coordinator: Informal Settlements) who shared the purpose of the day and the background to the project, and all the guests who made it such a special and meaningful occasion. 

The ceremony concluded with HAST Counsellors visiting homes in Polar Park  – demonstrating exactly how they trace and follow-up with household and close contacts of TB index clients. Thank you!