New R1m clinic at Vanguard Health Centre

The fight against HIV and Aids and TB received a boost when the Health MEC, Theuns Botha and the South African Medical and Educational Foundation officially opened a new unit at the Vanguard Community Health Centre in Bonteheuwel, on Friday October 30.

The unit has 10 newly built fully equipped rooms, which include a reception area, counselling rooms and a paediatric room.

This unit had cost more than R1 million to build, guests at the opening were told.

The unit, which will cater for adults and children, will test for HIV/AIDS and TB. Patients will be able to get treatment and counselling. It is also child-friendly and a room with toys has been set aside for them. Mr Botha said health services all over the world were “in serious trouble”. However, he said, the Western Cape has the best health care system in the country when compared to the other provinces. He said of the City’s 5.3 million people, 4.2 million people are being treated at government health facilities.

“Almost the whole population is being treated by the government,” he said.

He said government did not have enough money and resources to help health centres and that is why the partnership between government and private sector should be nurtured.

Diane Pols, director of the South African Medical and Educational Foundation, said its mission as a public benefit organisation is to distribute equal opportunity for health care for all people and they work in partnership with the Western Cape Health Department.

The organisation hightlights certain ares as top priority, based on the infrastructure of the clinic concerned and whether they have certain facilities available or not.

Once they have decided on a clinic, Ms Pols approaches businesses to provide funding for the building of a new facility or to buy equipment.

Adherence counsellor, Gloria Fredericks, said they have had a large influx of people who are HIV positive coming to the clinic so having this facility would most beneficial to the community.

“The HIV rate is high, we encounter it every day. Of the 25 clients I this week, eight of them were positive.”

Ms Fredericks said during the past week when she told someone their HIV status was positive, the person was in shock and she burst into tears.

Ms Frederickssaid the majority of people with the HI virus had contracted it by unprotected sex.

She said that the centre assist people from as as Milnerton and Dunoon.

News article taken from the Athlone News: Vanguard Handover