The ‘Siyenza Sprint’ campaign (building on the momentum of February Frenzy and March Madness) in Amathole, aimed to increase testing (‘Know Your Status’), strengthen linkage to care (universal test and treat) and support retention in care (to ensure viral suppression).
There was unprecedented support for the Siyenza Sprint (including a provincial road show across all Siyenza districts) and TB HIV Care’s Care and Treatment and HTS teams worked extended hours to ensure that we reached more people with health care services.
A notable success from the campaign was the complete overhaul of the clinical records filing system at facilities across the Eastern Cape.
Poor records management and inadequate filing infrastructure has negatively impacted on accurately accounting for clinical interventions, as well as on patient waiting times – given the administrative bottleneck at the start of each clinic visit. Many instances of patient file duplication, missing files and pronounced delays in retrieving records have been noted, especially in high volume facilities.
TB HIV Care undertook an overhaul of the system and since February 2019 has implemented this key intervention at 35 facilities across three districts over a period of three months.
Waiting times experienced by clients have reduced significantly and the standardised approach has led to more accurate reporting interventions, improving the TX_CURR indicator (number of adults and children currently receiving antiretroviral therapy) by up to 40% in some cases.
The aim is to rapidly scale the intervention to a further 70 facilities in due course as the new system has had a significant impact on clinic waiting times, accurate reporting and, ultimately, retention in care.
Staff blog. Submitted by John Mutsambi (HIVP (Prep) Technical Lead)
This year’s World Aids Day theme was ‘Know Your Status’ and it was aptly chosen given that UNAIDS estimates that more than 9.4 million people living with HIV do not know their status.
This message – know your HIV status – applies to everyone including healthcare workers. By seeking HIV testing, I believe that we contribute to raising the profile of HIV testing services and also to securing public confidence in the healthcare system. Modelling this behaviour could, as I see it, help increase demand for HIV testing.
This conviction prompted me to commemorate World AIDS Day 2018 by getting tested for HIV. Guess where I sought the test? From our TB HIV Care mobile wellness clinic in Dunoon.
Wearing my blue TB HIV Care T-Shirt, I approached the mobile van where, Fezeka Mfengu (HAST Counsellor), a young, energetic and rather shy counsellor, welcomed and invited me into the mobile clinic with a broad smile. After the greeting etiquette, she got down to business which started with pre-test counselling, seeking my consent for the test, then screening for tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and other non-communicable diseases. All this was followed by the HIV test which gave results in 15 minutes. I could feel my heart pounding as each minute passed by, but the feeling that I was doing the right thing comforted me. This short waiting period put me in the shoes of those who seek our services.
On receiving my HIV test result, post-test counselling, which included information on HIV prevention, was conducted. The counsellor followed the national testing algorithm to the letter. Her caring attitude and the service I received showed me that Fezeka is walking in the shoes of our service users. These are our counsellors!!! Thank you for contributing to taking our organisation to great heights of success.