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New HIV clinic in Delft to ensure better service

THE NEW HIV clinic at the Delft Community Health Centre (CHC)will ensure patients with HIV and tuberculosis are
treated separately from pregnant women and infants – a move that addresses the risk of spreading infectious diseases.

The new R1.5million HIV and TB clinic, funded by Adcock Ingram after the SA Medical and Education Foundation
approached the company, is located on the site of an ambulance station.

The ambulance station was moved to Tygerberg Hospital. In addition to reducing the threat of cross-contamination, the new clinic, opened yesterday, is expected to ease overcrowding at the busy health
centre.

“When I started three years ago, we had a monthly head count of 8000.Now it’s about 30000,”said the CRC’s facility manager, Jaco van Reerden. “We can’t cope with the numbers,” Van Reerden said. About 2000 people receive ARV treatment and nearly half of these also have TB.

The rapid increase in the number of patients at the CRC also meant there was a need for a full maternity package for women who had to travel to the Bishop Lavis Midwife Obstetrics Unit to have their babies.

The newly renovated clinic provides an additional 12 rooms for consultations and individual counseling. It also boasts a waiting room that can accommodate about 70patients, a play area for children, new furniture, and equipment donated by sponsors.

Mike Mabasa, Adcock Ingram’s head of corporate affairs and communication, said: “We are under no illusion
about the challenges facing the health care system. “We strongly believe that private-public sector partnerships, with NGOs, can add value to people’s lives.”

Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha reiterated that these partnerships were important ingredients in dealing with the burden of disease and the inequalities of health care facilities in disadvantaged areas. He said the upgrades in health care were part of the department’s strategy to promote wellness among communities in the Western Cape.

Brenda Gwala, a professional nurse at the centre, said the patients came to the centre from many areas. “It’s like this is their meeting point, but you just have to find different coping mechanisms,” she said.

Tygerberg community representative Graham Lindhorst said: “Delft needed this. We will not become a slave to this disease. We will fight this Aids giant and declare war against this giant we are facing.”

Download the PDF for this article in the Argus.