TB HIV Care joined The City of Cape Town, the Department of Health and a group of Khayelitsha NGOs (including MSF, SWEAT, Grassroot Soccer, Desmond Tutu) in Khayelitsha on Friday, 30 November for a World AIDS Day event at the Solomon Mahlangu Hall.
The national theme for World AIDS Day is Cheka Impilo, Know Your Status. The event celebrated health, wellness, community and positive choices while encouraging residents to #KnowYourStatus under the Department of Health’s ‘Cheka Impilo’ and ‘SheConquers’ campaigns.
There was an amazing atmosphere at the Hall (due in part to fantastic performers and speakers) and highlights included:
- A march from MSF’s offices at the Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha to Solomon Mahlangu Hall – led by a drum majorette group
- A jazz performance from The Institute for Music and Indigenous Arts Development (IMAD) learners – who were brilliant
- Music, dance and other performances – including Zip Zap Circus
- 5-a-side soccer tournament
Many thanks to our HTS teams who provided free testing, screening and other health checks on the day. And a massive thank you to Ndumi Mtshiselwa (PP Prev Coordinator) who proved to be the perfect MC!
Special mention to Michelle Carey (Deputy Communications Manager) who worked so hard to make this event happen.
With only one week to go until World AIDS Day 2108, TB HIV Care joined a number of a organisations (including We Beat TB and SFH) in supporting the Western Cape Department of Health’s activation on Thibault Square this morning – bringing testing, screening and other health care services directly to the heart of the city centre.
We are nearing the end of Movember (November is Men’s Health Awareness Month), and the national theme for World AIDS Day 2018 is “Cheka Impilo. Know your status”, so it was wonderful to see Priscilla Wawini and her team encouraging men to look after their health and fitness and making HIV testing so quick, easy and accessible. Thank you!
What do human rights have to do with health? If you think about it, quite a lot. Many reasons people don’t access care are a result of human rights violations. These can be anything from a policeman breaking the needle of someone who injects drugs thereby putting them at risk of blood-borne diseases, to someone not wanting to attend a clinic appointment for fear of losing their job. Denying someone health care is itself a violation of a human right.
This was the reason behind a multi-stakeholder meeting held on the 21 and 22 November in Johannesburg. Nearly 100 delegates from civil society organisations around the country gathered to discuss the data on human rights violations and to formulate the steps to generating a national plan that can address them. Completing this task is a critical part of the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs 2017-2022.
TB HIV Care was highly visible at the meeting. CEO, Prof Harry Hausler, presented a case study of how human rights violations impact people who inject drugs, with particular reference to the closing of our needle and syringe programme in eThekwini.
Anna Versfeld and Christian Tshimbalanga, independent consultants working with TB HIV Care, presented the findings of the research they have been doing into the barriers people experience when accessing TB services.
It was an intense two days hearing about how much work we still have to do to address a variety of stigma and structural barriers. We look forward to a plan that will move us towards ensuring that no one is left behind, and that health is accessible to all.