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World TB Day 2019: Theme

This week the Stop TB Partnership announced the theme for World TB Day 2019: It’s Time

A simple but powerful theme, it is also a call to action. Following on from the first-ever UN High Level Meeting on TB in September, the launch of the SA TB Caucus, and the 49th Union World Conference on Lung Health, which took place in The Hague in October, it is time to build on the momentum, harness political will and see the end TB in our lifetime.

As The Stop TB Partnership have announced, It’s Time…

  • …to keep the promises made at the UN HLM on TB
  • …for a world without TB
  • …to treat 40 million people affected by TB by 2022
  • …to know your TB status

World TB Day takes place on Sunday, 24 March 2019.
 

World AIDS Day: Provincial Launch in Uitenhage

The provincial launch of World AIDS Day 2018 took place in Uitenhage on Wednesday, 07 November.

The event was divided into three parts:

  • A political briefing from 08h00 – 09h30
  • Formal proceedings
  • A taxi rank activation

The formal proceedings took place just in front of the Municipal Town Hall. The Executive Mayor of the Metro, Councillor Bobani,  welcomed everyone to the event, before Ms Helen Sauls-August (Eastern Cape MEC for Health) outlined the purpose of the day. The main speaker was the Acting Premier, MEC Dr Dyantyi. He encouraged the outreach teams to go out and conduct HIV and TB testing. There were more than 300 testers present – all proudly wearing their branded T-shirts and caps.

It was a beautiful display of support from TB HIV Care, and we were acknowledged for the massive support that we gave to both the launch and the WAD outreach activities.

The taxi rank activation took place at the Uitenhage Main Taxi Rank, and this was followed by a visit to Hollywood where door-to-door visits were done (the focus was on community testing).  Lastly, we visited a clinic in Despatch, where the Acting Premier and other dignitaries met with clinic staff to listen to how they will accept all clients who have interrupted their treatment back into care. There was also an opportunity for members of the community to raise their own concerns and challenges about the clinic.

Mr Dayile from ECAC (who was MC on the day), made special mention of TB HIV Care – for all support that we have rendered to the programme,

Thank you!

Forging New Partnerships: The Muslim Judicial Council

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) invited TB HIV Care (represented by Gareth Lowndes and an HTS team) to join them on Thursday, 01 November for a formal meeting.  The meeting took place at the MJC headquarters in Athlone.  Gareth was welcomed by MJC President, SH Irafaan Abrahams, the first and second Deputy Presidents, and was also introduced to their Executive Committee.

Gareth was taken aback by the welcome he received from the MJC, “Rarely have I received such a warm, authentic, genuine welcome at a community launch. Everyone was incredibly respectful and inclusive.”

The MJC is offering access to 250 – 300 mosques within the Western Cape for health-related services, including TB, HIV, non- communicable diseases, VMMC (via Jhpiego) and prostate cancer.

November is Men’s Health Awareness Month. The meeting was held on 01 November in order to launch Men’s Health Month by bringing increased awareness to men’s health issues. The MJC realise that they can play an important role in healthcare, including HIV testing and promoting voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).

The MJC raised the concern that their men are not accessing health services as much as they should. They hope that in Men’s Health Awareness Month, with the help of TB HIV Care’s roving teams, they can promote more uptake of health services.

The MJC are encouraging their leaders and their executive team to get tested in order for the community to follow. Their call to action was heeded, as community members arrived to get screened for TB.

Gareth described this meeting as a significant moment, “This a landmark moment in terms of providing regular health services to the Muslim community.”

Gareth foresees that this is just the start of what will be a long and solid partnership with the MJC.

Islamic TV (ITV) were present on the day and the event was featured on DSTV Channel 347 later that night.