Even behind a mask, Hlobsile’s smile is brightening communities that need love and compassion healthcare in rural Lubombo. She’s one of our HIV testing counselors (HTS) and a member of our Mobile clinic team. This is her Kudvumisa story:
Q: When did you start working at CHIPS and how was the experience at first?
Hlobsile: I started working here in 2013. I still remember the date even- 26th of August. It wasn't easy at first because of the challenging transition between home and learning to live in Lubombo. I grew up in Piggs Peak so I got here and had to adjust to the food they eat and how they live. That taught me a lot about myself and grew my character.
Q: What is the most exciting part of your job?
Hlobsile: The team I get to work with and our leaders. I love them very much.
Q: What inspires you to keep working in these communities and assisting those in need?
Hlobsile: The bonds I have created and the love I have are what keeps me inspired. I also come from a poor background so I see myself through the people we meet. That is why my heart is full of so much love for these communities.
As well as her outreach and HTS duties, Hlobsile heads up the lab housed at the Kudvumisa Clinic. The clinic is currently seeing 30-40 patients each morning before the nurse led outreach teams leave for their daily community visits.
We are planning on expanding the existing solar arrays to provide a greater portion of the electrical needs of the clinic, to reduce our monthly payments to the electric company here and give us more funds for medicines and supplies.
A year ago our lives in Eswatini changed. We got our first COVID-19 case and everything adjusted to fit this new normal. We've slowly gotten into the rhythm of life during a pandemic and despite it all, we're glad to still be here. Still serving, still empowering and bringing hope. When you find time today, we urge you to say a prayer of encouragement and love to all frontline workers, COVID survivors, our clinic staff and espevcially those who have lost loved ones.
Now, those living in Maphiveni, Mhlume, Shewula and Lomahasha areas can test for COVID at our Clinic. A new testing site has officially been launched here in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and is currently the only one along our corridor. We’re happy that people in the communities we serve can now easily access testing and we feel so blessed to be a part of that.
TRRC installed all the existing solar panels for the clinic last month. And at no additional cost to us! They will recycle what equipment they can from the original installation. The inverter on the old system failed dramatically and proved impossible to service as the company was based in the US. With a local (Durban) company, we shouldn't have that problem again.
The system is set up for grid-tie, so all solar power generated will be used at the clinic offices and economic development areas during the day and the electric company will only supply the difference when necessary. We still need to be able to install solar for the main clinic rooms and look forward to being mostly green and off the grid at least during the daytime.
We are grateful for their support and contribution to the success of Kudvumisa Foundation's vision and mission!
Thabo (one of our outreach nurses) hands over food
During this pandemic, it is even more important that the people we serve in rural Eswatini avoid being exposed to the Corona virus in public transport and at the clinic itself. Providing care directly in the community helps this impoverished population avoid exposure. So while the clinic is still open for those who might walk in from the surrounding communities, community based care provides additional protection to this population. The clinic is still in desperate need of funding to complete the solar installation! Every dollar spent on electricity could have been used to buy medicines.
In the community, the outreach provides access to health care and even food supplements. Sabelo is 42 years old and lives alone at Mgidzangcunu, an informal settlement in the sugarcane fields of eastern Eswatini. He is living with a hunchback (kyphosis) and is unable to get any decent job, especially during the pandemic. He cannot provide food for himself and relies on handout primarily. He relies on Kudvumisa’s community outreach services to cater for his healthcare needs. When Kudvumisa gave him a food parcel this week he was at a loss for words. He thanked the organization and said the handout was timely since he had run out of food earlier in the week.
Last week, we were able to host a weeklong clinic outreach from our clinic facilities in Maphiveni. Visiting dentists, dental techs, specialist doctors, physiotherapists and general practitioners from private practice and the Ministry of Health all converged on the clinic to provide services to this impoverished and isolated region of Eswatini.
Many hundreds were helped with dental services, cervical cancer screening, HIV testing........
78 tested for HIV, 2 positives found and both initiated by our nurses on ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy)
7 linked to Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC services provide in the clinic by JHPiego)
60 women screened for cervical cancer
Rotary & Ministry of Health (MoH):
962 patients Registered
433 Received Dental Treatment
748 Treated for various medical conditions
102 received ENT consultation and treatment
48 underwent Physiotherapy
What was the cost? Nothing to the many hundreds who came every day for care. The actual value of services is still yet to be calculated.
Kudvumisa Foundation bore the cost of the facility. It cost roughly E2000 for electricity for the week of services. If there was a solar system for the facility, this money could have been saved and the money used for things like medicine and supplies.
This is E104000 for keeping the doors open for a year. This is about $7173/year depending on the exchange rate. How much better use of money if it could go to medical care versus lights? Please help us finish the solar installation for the clinic!
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