HAST Counsellors

Pollsmoor bids farewell to CSP team

On Wednesday, 27 March 2019, TB HIV Care’s  Correctional Services Programme (CSP) team was invited to attend the annual Pollsmoor boxing tournament. The boxing tournament, which was held at the Remand Detention Facility, marked World TB Day (24 March) – and formed the backdrop for an appreciation ceremony for TB HIV Care’s HAST Counsellors (who left Pollsmoor at the conclusion of the current grant).

The boxing tournament is an exciting event on Pollsmoor’s calendar. It brings together members of the official Pollsmoor boxing club as well as boxing clubs from the Drakenstein Management Area and the Bonnytoun Child and Youth Care Centre.

The tournament is supported by official referees, enjoys corporate sponsorship and was covered by Zibonele FM and Open News. The boxers, who were enthusiastically supported (and loudly cheered), gave it their all in the boxing ring! The eventual winners were the team from Bonnytoun.

Before concluding the boxing activity for the day, Sister Nomawabo Notshe called all HAST Counsellors into the boxing ring and presented them with an appreciation certificate to express, on behalf of the Department of Correctional Services, their thanks for the Counsellors’ services, and the value and support they have shown to the Management Area over the past few years.

It was such a fun day. Thanks so much to everyone involved!

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!