TB HIV Care’s social support team consists of 3 social workers and 5 social auxiliary workers. They provide services to patients at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital (a TB hospital) and communities in the Cape Metro of the Western Cape.
Both children and adults are treated at Brooklyn Chest Hospital. While there is a hospital school for older children, those under 6 were previously often confined to their cots for long periods of time without the necessary physical and mental stimulation. TB HIV Care began an educare programme which provides enrichment activities critical to the children’s development.
The full list of services provided for children at Brooklyn Chest Hospital is as follows:
- Educare for children under school-going age
- Educare support for grade R children
- Counselling services for children and families
- Support groups for school-going age children
- Preparation for discharge from hospital for children and families
- Parent support groups and assistance with travel for visits
- Assistance with disabilities and grant applications
- School holiday programmes to provide stimulation between school terms
Adults at Brooklyn Chest Hospital are provided with counselling support to assist them through the long journey of adhering to drug-resistant TB treatment, which can take two years to complete.
Within the communities of the Cape Metro, the TB HIV Care social support team works on promoting health and preventing HIV and TB through community outreaches and individual counselling sessions. If a client is experiencing challenges with a diagnosis or with staying on treatment, a clinic or one of TB/HIV Care’s mobile teams may refer the client to the social support team. The social workers can perform an assessment and assist with any psychosocial issues that may be affecting the client. Common challenges include fear of disclosing one’s status, depression, substance abuse, gender-based violence, and ignorance of how to apply for grants.