World Hepatitis Day Provincial Event: Pretoria

The World Hepatitis Day Provincial Events (Durban, Cape Town, East London, Polokwane and Pretoria) concluded on Tuesday, 14 August 2018.  TB HIV Care hosted the final event, in collaboration with the NDOH, at the NDOH’s Impilo Boardroom in the Civitas building, Pretoria.

The event included:

  • A talk, ‘Secure the Future’, from Ms Phangisile Mtshali Manciya of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (who funded the viral hepatitis study among  key populations)
  • An overview of hepatitis B and C from Dr Sarah Stacey (Charlotte Maxeke Hospital)
  • The World Health Organization’s vision of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030 (presented by Dr Brian Chirombo)
  • SANAC’s support for hepatitis services (by Dr Nevilene Slingers)
  • Findings from the viral hepatitis initiative among key populations in South Africa (Andrew Scheibe and Katherine Young)
  • Performance of HCV point of care and dry blood testing and HCV genotypes (the NICD’s Dr Nishi Prabdial Sing)
  • Hepatitis treatment from the providers’ perspective (a video submission from Prof. Wendy Spearman and Dr Mark Sonderup)
  • A discussion around the way forward with Dr Kgomotso Vilakazi Nhlapo (NDOH) and Andrew Scheibe (TB HIV Care’s Technical Advisor)

Once again, a highlight of the programme was a panel discussion with people affected by hepatitis. Connie van Staden, from the South African Network for People Using Drugs (SANPUD), facilitated the discussion.

The day was a great success (with well over 100 delegates) and we have had fantastic feedback from the NDOH, presenters and delegates alike. Many thanks to Andrew Scheibe, Katherine Young and the entire TB HIV Care team for making it happen!

Bhekisisa (Mail & Guardian) covered the event, and you can read the full article here.

Expanding Care & Treatment: TB HIV Care to become new DSP for Chris Hani and OR Tambo Districts

On the 2nd and 3rd of August 2018, Laurene Booyens (TB HIV Care’s Care & Treatment Programme Manager) and Gareth Lowndes (Chief Operating Officer) held inaugural meetings with Health Systems Trust (HST), permanent staff and affiliated community-based organisations in Mthatha and Queenstown. They were joined on both days by Sibongile Shezi, HST’s National Project Coordinator.

HST is the current district support partner (DSP) for the Chris Hani and OR Tambo districts in the Eastern Cape. From 1 October 2018, TB HIV Care will inherit these two districts as the new DSP, expanding our Care and Treatment Programme into these regions.

Discussions with province, district and HST led to successful initial transition planning sessions. As a result of our new DSP status, TB HIV Care has secured new office space in Mthatha to accommodate the additional staff.

Gareth Lowndes commented: “I am delighted to finally begin direct negotiations with the staff who will provide direct service delivery on October the first.  These preliminary engagements are critical, in terms of enabling effective change management, in addition to ensuring a seamless transition of programmatic activities and sustained service delivery to communities.”