TB HIV Care’s PWID Programme celebrated the launch of the Centre of Excellence, a key population-friendly health services centre at Skinner Clinic, Tshwane District Hospital, on Tuesday, 30 May 2023.
The new centre will ensure vulnerable populations, including PWID/PWUD, MSM and female sex workers have easy access to friendly, inclusive and non-judgemental healthcare services. These key populations face heightened risk of HIV transmission and STIs compared to the general population, largely due to various structural, socio-cultural and behavioural factors.
The launch allowed for candid dialogue between Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, valued partners and service users (representing various key populations), which not only shed light on the challenges faced by key populations – but also explored potential solutions.
TB HIV Care’s Site Manager, Phumzile Mngomezulu, delivered a comprehensive speech highlighting the PWID Programme’s intricacies and the tailor-made harm reduction strategies employed to prevent and manage HIV among people who inject drugs. The programme’s profound impact in Tshwane and the collaborative relationship with the district were also emphasised. In attendance were members of the TB HIV Care team, including peer educators, a peer coordinator and three service users. Importantly, the service users were given a platform to address the MEC directly, sharing their challenges in accessing services at public health facilities.
The MEC attentively responded to the challenges raised by each key population and reiterated the support that Skinner Clinic, as the Centre of Excellence, will provide. The event marked the successful commencement of key population-friendly services at Skinner Clinic, thanks to our partners’ continuous support and commitment. Through training, mentoring, sensitisation efforts, and the implementation of effective service referral systems, the clinic is fully dedicated to meeting the unique needs of vulnerable groups.
Launching the Key Populations Friendly Service Centre at Skinner Clinic was a significant milestone, promising a brighter future for key populations who can now access the care and support they deserve.