Care and Treatment

Collaboration and Conversations: The Eastern Cape’s African Traditional Medicines (ATM) Day

On Wednesday, 6 September the Eastern Cape Department of Health hosted the African Traditional Medicines (ATM) Day in the Amathole district – an annual event that rotates from province to province.

This year’s theme was “The Contribution of Traditional Medicines to Holistic Health and Well-Being for All.”

For the past two decades, 31 August has been designated as African Traditional Medicine Day to honour the crucial role of traditional medicine in the health and well-being of generations of people on the continent, as recognised by the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

Various activities were organised in the lead-up to event. “Thuma Mina” campaigns were conducted on July 26th and 27th, whereby health services were taken directly to communities residing in remote areas. On 16 August, a dialogue event was held to facilitate conversations between traditional health practitioners, clinicians and communities about when to seek the help of a clinician.

This year’s event was attended by distinguished guests, including the Premier of the Eastern Cape, the MEC of Health, BRICS partners, the Mayor of Mbashe, the Provincial RPHC Director, and traditional health practitioners from across the province. Stakeholder Manager Mr Sandlana, Community Coordinator Asanda Jele, and the HTS testing team led by Sr Nqaba Bomvu represented TB HIV Care.

Thuma Mina Campaign in Amathole

The Amathole District Department of Health (DoH) has embarked on the Thuma Mina (Send Me) project, which aims to bring health services to far-flung, rural communities.

The campaign had activities planned for three days in Mnquma Local Municipality (Amathole) from 18- 21 February. Gcina, with seven villages and Chebe with six villages were the areas identified in Mnquma to host the event. Communities in these areas are serviced by only three health facilities – all on average about 5km- 10km away. 

During the three days, integrated services were offered, including HTS, consultation of all clients by nurses and specialised care (which included: eye care, ENT, dental care, gynaecological care, social care and even application of identity documents and birth certificates).

Youth clinics and dialogues were led by TB HIV Care staff to make sure that the youth are not left behind.

TB HIV Care’s HTS and Care & Treatment teams worked passionately and with dedication, providing much-needed quality care to those communities.

The event received support by the attendance of the DoH district office, sub-district and provincial HAST Managers.

Well done to all those who made the event possible!

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.”