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Archive for the ‘Primary health care’ Category

SANE SHANDU and TELISHA NAIDU

THE Municipality’s Health Unit and the Muthande Society for the Aged held an HIV/Aids awareness campaign for the elderly at the Tafelkop Service Centre near Umbumbulu recently. Elderly people came in numbers to attend the event to learn more about HIV.

There is much poverty in Tafelkop and access to health services is difficult, although a mobile clinic visits twice a week. Thoko Molefe, a Skills Development and HIV/Aids Coordinator at Muthande said, “HIV/Aids is commonly associated with teenagers and young adults. The purpose of this campaign is to bring awareness to the elderly too. “Many elderly people have the belief that HIV/Aids only affects younger people, but they need to realise that they are most at risk as they are not educated on the virus.

It is important that we promote a healthy lifestyle to the elderly and encourage them to get tested,” Molefe said. Muthande board member Mlondi Manzini said, “People here are traditional and stuck in their old ways. Polygamy is very common. Many of the men have more than two wives, which is why it is necessary for all men, young and old, and their wives to be educated on the dangers of unprotected intercourse with partners”.

Matthew Mchunu, a 72-year-old resident of Tafelkop, said it was the first time he had been tested and was happy to know his status. “I have three wives and 24 children. Now that I know about HIV, I will encourage them to get tested as soon as possible so we can live positively”, Mchunu said. Vukani Luthuli, HIV/Aids co-ordinator for non-governmental structures for the eThekwini Health Unit, said, “We work with all structures to ensure people have access to information.”

Observer, Kavutha Muthubi of Health Age International in Kenya, said many elderly people were taking care of orphans who had lost their parents to Aids and also had the virus. She said that this put them at risk of contracting the disease as they often did not know how to handle children infected with the virus. Non-profit HIV counselling and testing programme, New Start, USA International Ministries and Bambiqhaza provided free voluntary counselling and training, blood pressure and blood sugar testing.

Of the men tested in Tafelkop, two in every 10 were found to be HIV positive. Of 52 tested for blood pressure and blood sugar levels, 40% had abnormal blood pressure and 20% had abnormal blood sugar levels.

shandusanelisiwe@durban.gov.za
naidutelisha@durban.gov.za

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Residents of Adams Mission near Amanzimtoti have every reason to smile after a new clinic was finally opened in the area on Saturday.

They will now officially receive a package of services offered in primary health care. The need was identified by the eThekwini Municipality to build a clinic in the area to address health challenges facing the community and to attend to the huge shortage of health facilities in the Durban south region. Residents had to go to Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in uMlazi for medical help before, which was too far away, and there was no other health facility accessible to the Adams Mission community.

The Municipality’s Deputy Head for Social Development, Dr.Themba Mdluli, said the increasing population in the area had become a huge challenge as large numbers of people were sick and, to make things worse, the majority of people could not afford to go to hospital.

“I believe this is where health and social challenges can be dealt with before people can consider visiting hospitals. The clinic provides a full range of primary health care services,” said Mdluli.
The clinic will work in partnership with Zoe Life, a non-profit organisation associated with McCord’s Hospital.
This organisation provides voluntary counselling services (VCT) and anti-retrovirals (ARVs). Mayor Obed Mlaba officiated at the opening and gave a key-note address.

Councillor Cele of Ward 96, which is where the clinic is situated, said, “The community is very delighted with this venture. They will no longer have to go to Mshiyeni Hospital for even basic medical treatments. Let’s hope this is the start of a lot of new, better things to come.”

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