Archive for the ‘hiv and aids’ Category

Driven by a passion of assisting the Aged and caring for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s), Siyasizana Community Development embarked on a mission to visit Illovo Township, South of Durban. We conducted a house to house survey, starting from Section B. This township was a previously reserved settlement and is being upgraded to a low cost housing development.

During our home visits, we try and identify families with older parents who have no one to offer them basic human needs, also those homes that are run by orphans. As caregivers we not only care for them, but when arriving in their homes we also attend to their ill children and grandchildren. We provide them with home nursing, feed them, clean their houses and cook for them if the need arises.

In many cases we as caregivers will refer some cases to the organization’s paralegal practitioners that will assist with, for instance, application for ID documents, birth certificates for their grandchildren, application for child support grants, pensions, etc. Mostly these households do not have anything to eat; we would provide them with food parcels.

Mrs. M Dangazela (widow) , aged 63yrs Supervisor

At Illovo we have developed a very good relationship with Mrs. M Dangazela who is a widow but a woman with a vision. This woman has five children of her own. One of her sons is mentally challenged, a daughter is physically challenged. Out of the remaining three sons, only one is working. Two are unemployed. Besides this burden, she started a Day Care Centre next to her house to care for the young children of the surrounding working community. The number of these kids has astronomically grown to be seventy. So far she has provided employment to five caregivers.

Corrugated Classroom, kids are exposed to extreme weather conditions

She uses two informal structures and her garage which serve as classrooms. The majority of these kids are HIV/AIDS carriers. Some suffer from Tuberculosis. Mrs. M Dangazela is semi-illiterate and likewise encounters countless setbacks to run her Centre effectively.

Wooden Classroom, kids are exposed to extreme weather conditions

Siyasizana Community Development is raising funds to help improve the existing informal structures used as Day Care Centre to insulated containers. We also discovered that there is food shortage in the Centre due to late payment or non-payment of fees by the low income parents. The five caregivers that work with her are very much demotivated by the inconsistency of their salaries. Mrs. M Dangazela who also acts as a supervisor, cooks for the kids in her own house; allow the kids to use her bathroom as the Centre structures have none.

Interesting facts about Orphans and Vulnerable Children

One of the most tragic results of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa is the rapidly growing number of children made vulnerable or orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In 2004, an estimated 2.2million children had lost either one or both their parents – Department of Health 2007:28. The number of orphans in the country more than doubled between 2003 and 2006 – Department of Health 2007:34.

According to the National Strategic Plan on HIV/AIDS 2007 – 2011 – Department of Health, 2007:29, “The worst affected children – those in deeply impoverished households  – experience various forms of physical, material and psychosocial deprivation and assaults on their health as a result of lack of parental care and nurturing environment. Often these children are separated from caregivers and siblings and sent to stay with other relatives or other cares or social networks”.


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American singer Alicia Keys was in Durban, Wentworth recently to officially open up a multi-million-rand HIV/AIDS clinic, an experience she described as, “Way better than performing at the official World Cup kick-off concert”.

The 13-time Grammy Award-winning R &b B diva co-funded the Keep a Child Alive (KCA) project which is based at The Blue Roof Wellness Centre, south of Durban.

Alicia Keys in Durban

Keys said the state-of-the art centre, which provides Aids treatment and care, was a run down night club before it was transformed into a sanctuary of health for Wentworth residents.

Key praised Durbanites for lending a helping hand to the clinic and encouraged her audience to continue volunteering their time to maintaining the clinic.

“I have not been to South Africa since 2006 and during the past our years KCA has made incredible progress in serving more than 250 000 people infected and affected by Aids. So thank you all, especially the staff who are committed to this project.”

Mayor Obed Mlaba congratulated Keys on her milestone in developing a centre that has made a positive impact on the lives of many families. “HIV and Aids is  the main killer, especially of our young people, and the government is engaged in programmes to deal with effects of the pandemic on our communities.” Mlaba said.

Mlaba said The Blue roof Centre could be used to foster family values and give guidance to young people. “I want to thank you, Ms Keys, your family and the partners for such a generous donation, which has turned this once notorious night spot into a community centre that is contributing positively to this community.”

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The Municipality’s HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign has proved a huge success, attracting a big turnout of residents from SJ Smith Community Residents Unit (hostel) recently.

The HCT drive hosted by the health unit has been an ongoing project, but it was a first time it had visited the male hostel in Ward 75, Lamontville.

Unit HIV facilitator Hillaria Zungu said, “I was thrilled to see so many men participating. The lines were long and people were eager to know their status. It is a men’s hostel, but there were also a few women present”

The Unit partnered with the Ithembalabantu Clinic which provided the HCT, Napwa which provided counselling on positive living and Oliver Leaf, which was there to help change the perception among many men that it is “cool” to date more than one women at the same time.

The slogan of the day was, One Man, One Woman”. Ward Councillor Isabel Malatsi said she was happy to see people being tested and then going back to their rooms to call others.

Oliver Leaf showed me the registration book and I was impressed because it is no longer like in the old days when people would not attend such events,” Malatsi said.

Councillor Nomvuzo Shabalala said, “We applaud the Health Unit for this initiative. It gives citizens an opportunity to know their status so they can plan thier lives wisely and productively.”

SJ Smith resident Thulani Dlamini said he was grateful the event had been held on a weekend as it was difficult to attend clinics during the week.

” We feel special because the Unit is bringing the services to us. It’s great that you do not need to provide an identity document or your real name like you have to do at clinics.” Dlamini said.

Residents were also treated to a demonstration of how to use the female condoms and were offered free counselling before and after testing.

Article from: Ethekwini Municipality Metro Community Newspaper

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An Interesting Article From Sangonet :

Sex workers’ hopes of practicing their trade under a decriminalised environment in South Africa are fading, despite calls from human rights activists to legalise prostitution. With 50 days to go before the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we live with the reality that sex workers will continue operating within a criminalised environment. Legalising sex work could enable prostitutes to pay tax, go through mandatory HIV testing, and work under conditions that will not expose them to gender-based violence, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Failure to legalise sex work could compromise prostitutes’ ability to access health, legal and social services, force them to work under unsafe conditions, remain stigmatised and will not afford them an opportunity to negotiate safer sex.

In this week’s issue of the NGO Pulse, we bring you an article by Daniel Agbiboa, external consultant at Consultancy Africa Intelligence’s HIV and AIDS unit, who calls for legal frameworks to regulate the practice of sex workers rather than discriminate against them.

Agbiboa argues that: “Legalising sex work may make fans safer, but South Africa realises that its long-term identity will not be defined solely by 2010, and needs to carefully weigh the detriments compared to the benefits of such a drastic policy shift that may spell disaster for the country in the long run, if the country is not ready for it.”

In another article, Melanie Judge, a human rights activist at Inyathelo – The South African Institute for Advancement (writing in her personal capacity), criticises the country’s failure to address gender prejudice and priorities, which continue to shape dominant HIV and AIDS debates and responses. Judge argues that the country has not progressed in prioritising ‘female-controlled preventative measures’, despite the fact that gender is linked to women’s social, biological and economic vulnerability to the HIV risk.

She adds: “This failure to prioritise female-controlled preventions is a lost opportunity to transform gender power relations – which create the very conditions in which HIV and AIDS flourish.”

As always we invite your comments and suggestions.

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