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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.

Mandela Day 2019: Bring educare to children hospitalised with TB

This Mandela Day, TB HIV Care is running a fundraising campaign to bring early childhood learning to kids hospitalised with TB.

Why it’s important:

Children hospitalised with TB may spend 6 months in hospital, sometimes a year. Without an on-site educare centre, kids under five will spend every day of those months in a cot, missing out on critical mental and physical stimulation. It is a difficult time because families are often not able to visit (due to work and family commitments, distances to travel etc.) and hospital staff are fully occupied caring for the medical needs of the children. You can help change this! This Mandela Day, TB HIV Care is asking for your support to keep our educare service at Brooklyn Chest Hospital going.

What we are raising money for:

For years, TB HIV Care has employed educare teachers to provide much needed stimulation to the kids at Brooklyn Chest Hospital. However, in order to sustain the programme, we need to secure government and corporate funding. And in order to do that, we need to register the educare centre, a process that requires that the centre meets certain criteria. By increasing the space available through installing a prefab building next to the existing space, we can make the educare programme sustainable, and ensure that no kids have to miss out on critical developmental stages because they have TB.

How you can help:

To ensure the programme keeps going, we really need a cash injection.

1. Please donate what you can. You can make a safe, quick donation using the Givengain platform via credit card or EFT.

2. Please share the campaign on social media and ask your friends and family to donate what they can

3. If you would prefer to donate goods, we are also looking for materials for the educare centre which can be dropped off at 11 Adderley Street, including: scooters, balls, buckets & spades, hoola hoops, skipping ropes, sand and water play toys, story books for 0-5 years old, playdough, cookie cutters, rolling pins, chalk, wax crayons, powder paint, paint brushes, puzzles up to 100 pieces.

The 9th SA AIDS Conference (10 – 14 June 2019)

TB HIV Care hosted an exhibition stand at the 9th SA AIDS Conference in Durban last week.  It was an unforgettable experience, a whirlwind of networking, workshops, track sessions, plenaries, social media and more.

The concept for TB HIV Care’s stand was simple, we wanted a space where people could meet, discuss different programmes and projects (#ChangeTheConversation), as well as take part in live Facebook and Twitter chats. All of this to showcase areas where TB HIV Care had expertise to share. Our topics were reflected on the back panel of the stand – as well through advocacy messages on button badges. We were fortunate to be able to distribute interesting and engaging materials (e.g. information around harm reduction, OST and a sex work study) as well as our 2018 Annual Report.

In terms of the concept, the stand was very successful. It was gratifying to see the number of people who wanted to engage at our stand, including people from the National Department of Health, District Departments of Health, the Department of Correctional Services, the Department of Social Development, SAPS, other NGOs and civil society. We took the opportunity to celebrate TB HIV Care’s 90th birthday (what a milestone!) at the stand – and grabbed some great videos and photographs of people wishing TB HIV Care a happy birthday.

Thanks so much to Luzuko Tosh (HIV Prevention Regional Manager), Tricia Sterling (Training Manager) and Alison Best (Communications Manager) who assisted us so ably in our first foray into Facebook Live videos. Thanks to Malibongwe Daweti (Provincial Community Coordinator) who provided valuable insights on men-friendly services and working with traditional healers.

A real highlight was TB HIV Care’s three Twitter chats:

  • Can data save lives? Exploring how data can help reach epidemic control
  • Men Matter. How can we better involve men in the HIV response?
  • What keeps stigma alive, and can innovation help to end it?

The ‘tweetchats’ were moderated by Vanessa Carter from Healthcare Social Media South Africa (#HCSMSA) and we got great stats – positioning TB HIV Care as one of the top social media influencers at the conference.

In addition to the expo stand, TB HIV Care was well-represented during the  conference, including:

  1. Skills Building Workshop: Disruptions and change

The time to ignore intersections between HIV, viral hepatitis and drug use is over – understanding integrated HIV responses for
people who inject drugs with Dr Andrew Scheibe, Ms Andrea Schneider, Prof Monique Marks, Ms Angela McBride and Dr Kgomotso Vilakazi Nhlapo

2. Skills Building Workshop: Pushing PrEP beyond Implementation Possibility

Exploring experiences gained in providing PrEP to the sex worker, MSM and Transgender populations with TB HIV Care, Wits RHI, Engage Men and PHRU.

3.  Panel Discussion: Decriminalisation of HIV and AIDS (with Shaun Shelly discussing PWID)

Thanks so much to all involved.

The TB HIV Care conference stand was still a popular ‘photo booth’ even on the last day just before being dismantled.

Bustling with activity, the conference booth was a meeting place for staff, partners and stakeholders.

The Twitter chat in full swing and being broadcast at the TB HIV Care booth.