Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA

by TransCape NPO
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Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Health team fights the spread of COVID-19 in SA
Zinathu at a Home Visit
Zinathu at a Home Visit

Counselling Report 2020

 The journey has not been easy but it was worth it. It is my great pleasure to look and reflect on all that I have done during the year. Some things were unsuccessful but nonetheless were inspiring and a valuable learning experience. I always say with all the achievements that I might think I have accomplished there is none greater than making a difference in accelerating prevention to reduce new HIV, TB infection, and STIs.

My main focus this year was clinic visits, home visits, school visits, community home-based care, and support groups, cataract surgery, and sanitary towels rollout.

Clinic visits:

Two times a week I visit 2 different clinics in our area. I provide accessible, friendly service delivery and health education, customized to clients’ needs. The nurses and health workers in the clinic support my work and we form a strong team.

I provide people with education about HIV screening, testing and treatment, Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STI) screening, and Tuberculosis (TB) screening. I promote the use of condoms and make people aware of the danger of drug and alcohol abuse.

The clinics provide me with a private room to do one-on-one counseling. Here I can test the clients for HIV and answer questions about Post-exposure prophylaxis after sexual assault and post-sexual support after unsafe sex.

Total Number of People educated: 1900

Total Number of One-to-One counselling: 800

Total Number of People tested for HIV: 80

 

Home Visits

 For quite some time I have been working towards the 90-90-90 strategy which was promoted in South Africa since 2014. 90 percent of all people in SA should know their status, 90 percent of those who are positive should be on treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment should be virally suppressed.

South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world with 7.7million people living with HIV. HIV prevalence among the general population is 20.4%.

I decided to expand my Home visit frequency and area to do more HIV/Aids education. Two times per week I visit people at home now. People have told me that it helps them a lot as they live far away from clinics or any other institutions that bear information about the subject. People enjoy being counseled about HIV and AIDS in privacy. Testing and giving out condoms is comfortable and I can pick up other issues like TB and I offer help with transport to the nearest clinic or hospital if necessary. I always leave Isixhosa booklets with information about STIs, Hygiene, and HIV at the homes.

Number of Home Visits: 853

Number of people educated: 1670

Number of people counseled: 228

  

School Visits

 

Once a week I visit 4 different schools again. I was restricted by Covid-19 as the schools wouldn’t allow any external people to come in. Recently the principals have contacted me and asked me to come back to continue with the important work.

 I found a good approach to reach adolescent girls and boys through an open and friendly way of teaching delicate subjects like sexual and reproductive health. The positive impact has been made through group activities, drama, and one-on-one counseling. Teachers get involved and observe my teachings. They give me feedback as they observe the behavior change. I give out female and male condoms, pamphlets, and sanitary pads for the girls to ensure they attend school even when they have their menstruations. I also educate the children on Covid-19 facts and prevention.

 

Here is a story about one of my heroes. A 13-year-old girl from Malahle. When I started working with her grade she was very shy at first. As she got to know me she came out of her shell. One day after class she came to me and said that she thinks that there is HIV in her own family but no one wants to talk about it. She always thought that young people do not have the right to talk about HIV/Aids openly. It is an absolute taboo in her family. She asked me if I could schedule a home visit to come to counsel her entire family. That was very brave of her. When I arrived there, the family was not happy about my visit. It took many visits and sensitivity to engage with all family members. One by one they opened up and I was able to make sure they get all the information they need to make informed decisions. It came out that one of the cousins is already on ARV treatment but had to default her treatment often because she was hiding her status from her family. Now that everyone knows and accepts her, she will be able to go and visit the clinic and get her very needed medication. Thanks to the very brave 13-year-old girl, trust and love were reinstalled in this family.

 

I also organized a sports event for 32 girls from three different schools. We played netball and I organized workshops for them to educate them on how to share information about HIV/Aids with their families at home. In this fun-environment learning was made easy. We provided transport for the girls to come to the event.

 

Total numbers of learners educated: 436

Total numbers of learners that received one-to-one counseling: 39

  

Community-based care and Support groups

 

Once a month I meet with the support groups and Home-Based Care groups in the area. The groups have been established many years ago by TransCape in 2008. These groups have grown from strength to strength and I can say that they are independent, hardworking people who want the best for their community. We share information and ideas about how to optimize the projects and make the area stigma-free

 As I will be relocating from Canzibe to Mdumbi, I am looking forward to establishing more support groups and Home-based Care groups in the area and make them just as strong as the ones around Canzibe area.

Total numbers of members: 46

Total number of meetings in the last 6 month: 4

  

Cataract Surgery

TransCape and Grace Vision work together to transport Cataract patients from our Canzibe Hospital to Zithulele Hospital.

 Due to Covid-19 and the fact that our hospitals and medical personnel are flooded with cases, all non-emergency surgery was canceled.  We only had one trip to Zithulele Hospital at the beginning of the year 2020.

 

Sanitary Towels

The Sanitary pads project was established to help girls with their monthly menstruation management. We have distributed another 300 pads to school girls, for them to attend school even when they have their period.

Our sewing ladies continue sewing the pads out of flannel and cotton material. Everyone is very grateful for this service

 

Community Awareness Events

 

I organize community awareness days on regular basis to inform people on important matters arising. I had one big event in Kwazulu to educate people about the Lockdown restrictions and how to prevent Covid-19 infections from spreading. I gave out information pamphlets and soaps! I partnered with the Ward councilor of that ward as the government gave us some food parcels for the families stricken by starvation.

 

Thank you for all your support. It is very apricated!

Yours sincerely

Zinathu Luvalo

 

 

 

 

 

Zintathu with the Home Based Care group
Zintathu with the Home Based Care group
Zintathu at a Counselling session with villagers
Zintathu at a Counselling session with villagers
One of Zintathu's HIV Support Groups
One of Zintathu's HIV Support Groups
Community awareness day and food parcels give out
Community awareness day and food parcels give out
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Zintathu health counsellor
Zintathu health counsellor

It has been such a difficult time due to the Corona Virus pandemic, but we have been continuing with the following projects, trying as much as we can to make a difference and helping our communities. It is however a tough road, as we had to adapt to a new normal.                                                                                                    

Home visits

Zintathu our HIV Counsellor has visited more homes as it was the safest way to keep everyone updated. In these unprecedented times it was of paramount importance to support our community members who have to take HIV medication. It was difficult to get to the clinics and pharmacies due to the national lock down. There was even shortish of medication and Zinathu had to encourage people to not give up but check for their medication with their clinic staff and doctors. Extra counselling was needed as the people were suffering from job loss and beginning to starve. Taking HIV medication on an empty stomach can cause grave side effects.

 

Home Based Care groups

Zintathu worked hard to educate the Home-Based Care workers about Covid-19 and the raging pandemic. She continued with their monthly meetings and gave out a lot of information materials in form of booklets and pamphlets concerning hygiene and prevention of transmission. Special workshops were given to 5 groups, focusing on dealing with HIV/Aids clients during the pandemic.

School visits

Some schools closed their doors to outside visitors, as part of Covid-19 protection. Zintathu was allowed into 2 schools to educate the pupils about hygiene and Covid-19, but also continued to teach about teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse. 

Sanitary towels

Zintathu and her sewing ladies managed to make 1800 reusable sanitary pads and distribute them to most needy young girls. We hope having secure protection will help the girls to stay in school and be able to learn continuously. Each pack has 10 sanitary pads inside.

Cataract surgery

We provide transport for Cataract patients who need to go from Canzibe Hospital to Zithulele hospital for operations. We only had one trip with 10 patients due to the pandemic. Slowly things get back to normal and we are planning the next trip in November.

Community Awareness

Zintathu invites the whole community to attend the community awareness events to get information about Covid-19 and HIV/Aids once a month. At the events she provides everyone with masks, takes their temperature, sanitizes the participants hands and practices social distancing by seating them 1.5m apart. Windows and Doors stay open or the event is held on the lawn.

We would like to thank every single one of you for your support through these difficult times.

Yours sincerely

 TransCape Team

School awareness day
School awareness day

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Covid awareness event before Lock down
Covid awareness event before Lock down

Health Counselling and COVID-19

 

Introduction

None of us could have predicted we would find ourselves living trough unprecedented times such as these. The blow to the rural areas and its health systems is severe and the lack of relief support from government is deeply concerning. TransCape NPO and the health counsellor have to adjust dramatically and find ways to navigate unchartered territory.

Covid-19 action

Just before the South African lock down was implemented, Zinathu was able to reach over 500 people and educated them about what the Corona virus is and how to best avoid and prevent the spread.

Large numbers of community members were reached through pamphlets in isiXhosa, word of mouth and Whats App groups. Zinathu also educated all community health care workers, HIV support group members and Home-Based Care staff about the Virus. This way the news went out rapidly and we are pleased with the level of education about Corona. A lot of fake news and myths about Covid-19 was smothered by our health team, as it is a new disease people come up with stories about magical medicines and cures.

Hygiene is a huge problem in the rural areas as the communal water taps are off and there is no clean water available in many areas. Zintahu gave out hundreds of soaps and demonstrated how you can effectively clean your hand with a two-liter Coke bottle, filled with water. We also gave out sanitizer and disinfectant spay to bus and taxi drivers to prevent the spread in public vehicles.

Social distancing plays a major role to prevent the spread of the virus. Zinathu and her health team stressed this point as we know that in the African culture distancing will be a major issue.

Over 600 masks were sewn by our local sewing ladies and distributed to the elderly and vulnerable. Zintathu also educated the people about the benefits of masks and how you can make your own, as the ready-made masks cost R20 each, which is expensive for most people.

Zinathu communicated with the patients on ARV’s about the travel restrictions as we feared that HIV affected people will default their treatment. Transport was shut down and it is extremely difficult to reach the clinics and hospitals to get the ARV treatment. Zinathu stressed the point that all patients are allowed to travel in order to get medicine and that the clinics have to see them. Contact details of the nearest health care workers were given out, in case of emergencies.

Way forward

The health team will continue to educate and spread news updates about Covid-19 and hopefully we will be able to get some personal protective gear for all frontline health workers.

Conclusion

We are facing scary times as we still have to peak. Zinathu and her team are facing the challenges with a brave heart and standing strong to fight against the virus. Without your contribution this would not be possible. TransCape and the health team would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support!

Yours Zinathu Luvalo

HIV/Aids Counselor

 

 

 

Educating Home Based Care staff
Educating Home Based Care staff
Making masks
Making masks
600 masks were made and distributed
600 masks were made and distributed
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Organization Information

TransCape NPO

Location: Ngqeleni - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Zintathu Luvalo
Ngqeleni, South Africa
$677 raised of $10,000 goal
 
16 donations
$9,323 to go
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