eThekwini Sex Work Site Hosts CDC Delegation

On 11 April, a CDC Atlanta and Botswana delegation visited TB HIV Care’s Sex Worker Programme in eThekwini to benchmark best practices around programme implementation.

TB HIV Care was represented by Chief Programme Officer, Dr Laurene Booyens; Key Populations Director, Mfezi Mcingana; Key Populations Quality Improvement Coordinator, Lorraine Moses; National Research Project Coordinator Chitra Singh; SW National Peer Coordinator, Sisanda Nqezo; Key Populations Study Coordinator, Thabile Mthethwa; SW Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Hlengiwe Mhlophe; and SW eThekwini Site Manager, Vuyiswa Nyawose.

Helen Savva, CDC Key Populations Lead, highlighted that the visit was aimed at understanding and benchmarking services offered to sex workers by TB HIV Care and to share these lessons with Botswana colleagues.

eThekwini Site Manager Vuyiswa Nyawose added, “This was a learning visit – a knowledge-sharing platform, where practical information on activities that the programme is implementing, to assist them with improving health outcomes in KP- female sex workers in Botswana.”

The delegation had an opportunity to engage with various teams in the SW Programme, where they were able to present some of the services they offer to sex workers and some of their successes.

“TB HIV care cultivates many values, with empowerment being one. This helps to promote ownership and accountability. Team members are empowered to take ownership of their work and think creatively to overcome challenges. We encourage them to be engaged in their work, think outside the box, and produce new ideas and solutions, which can possibly lead to process improvements within the site and programme at large,” added Nyawose.

The Botswana delegation hailed the eThekwini sex work site for their innovative implementation of the programme, which Nyawose commented, “I am very excited. I believe that empowerment is the cornerstone of innovation. It wasn’t a miracle, but it has been a process of ensuring that I communicate the vision and values of the organisation to the team and align it with the programme goals.  Literally, every day I wear a different hat which allows me to capacitate the team and provide technical guidance at the site level to ensure that we enhance our effectiveness and efficiency as a programme in the eThekwini district.”

The delegation joined the outreach team, where they had an opportunity to visit one sex worker location and engage with sex workers, seeing first-hand the work done by dedicated TB HIV Care outreach teams.

Nyawose added such visits “create an environment for open interaction between the donor and programme implementers so that the donor understands the quality and quantity of interventions that are implemented within the programme as well as the situation (challenges) we face within the programme.”

I would like to give a special thanks to the eThekwini FSW team and the presenters for the day. And a big thank you to Helen & Laurene for their continuous support for the programme”, added Nyawose.