Pension day becomes VCT day

Pension day becomes VCT dayMadwaleni Hospital, in rural Mbashe just outside Mtata, in the Eastern Cape has come up with a new strategy to get more people to come for HIV testing. It takes testing services to the people.

Madwaleni Hospital, in rural Mbashe just outside Mtata, in the Eastern Cape has come up with a new strategy to get more people to come for HIV testing. It takes testing services to the people.

Read More

The audio is in isiZulu. See the English summary below.

MABUTHO: Indawo yaseMbashe ngaphandle kwase Mtata esifundazweni saseMpumalanga Kapa ingezinye zezindawo ezikhahlanyezwe kakhulu igciwane le HIV kuleli laseNingizimu Africa. Kodwa njengazo zonke izindawo zasemakhaya isibhedlela esikhona kulendawo, iMadwaleni Hospital, sikude futhi sisodwa. Lokhu kwenza ukuthi abanye babantu bagafinyeleli kulesisibhedlela ngenxa yobubha noma ezinye izizathu. Kanti nakuba lesisibhedlela sinalo uhlelo lokuzihlolela igciwane lwe HIV, iVoluntary Counseling and Testing, abaningi abaphumeleli ukuya esibhedlela okuyozihlola. Cishe yiso lesisizathu esiholele ekuthenini lesisibhedlela siqhamuke nohlelo lokuhambela ezindaweni zokuholela imali yempesheni ngenhloso yokunxenxa abantu ukuba bazihlolele igciwane le HIV. Sihambele kwenye indawo yokuholela imali yempesheni eXhora Mouth lapho abasebenzi besibhedlela iMadweleni behambele khona ngenhloso yokunxenxa abantu ukuba bazihlolele igciwane le HIV. Lendawo ithi ayibe ngamakhilomitha angu 30 ukusuka eMadwaleni Hospital kodwa ngenxa yobubi bomgwaqo kuthatha isikhathi eside ukufika kuyona. Sixoxisane no Sister Nokulunga Willie, okunguyena ohola lomkhankankaso wokuhlolela igciwane le HIV ezindaweni zokuholela impesheni nalapho simbuze khona ukuthi yini ehlukile ngaloluhlelo.

SISTER WILLIE: Sasithi siyeza singonompilo sizotesta abantu bangezi. Siba ngathi siya ezikolweni abantu bangezi bese kuza abantwana. Saphinde sacinga ezinye iindlela ukuba kumele senze kanjani. Sacinga ngokuya ezidiphini, but sacinga ukuba abantu abangotata ikakhulukazi abaya ezidiphini. Sacinga ukuba masiye ezipeyini ngoba ezipeyini kune different ages, abanye abantu bazofuna izimali zabo ebantwini abanye abantu bazorola, zonke into ezinjalo. So there are different ages, different categories abanye abantu bazothengisa njengoba ngoku apha kuse Xhora, but kukho abantu bakoMtata nakuQumbu. Kabanayo ichance yokubheka eziclinic kuba kalokhu bayathengisa ezipeyini, so nabo siyabafumana ke sibancede.

MABUTHO: Uthi ngaloluhlelo lokuhambela kwabo kwizindawo zokuholela imali yempesheni bakwazile ukusiza abantu abaningi.

SISTER WILLIE: Sinabantu abaninzi asebaqala izi ARVs through le VCT outreach. So, sibancedile abantu kakhulu ngalo VCT outreach andikhathali kuba ungubani uthini.

MABUTHO: UMinah Ndumba ungomunye wama HIV counselor amabili akhona kulendawo yokuholela impesheni yase Xhora Mouth. Umsebenzi wakhe ukululeka abantu ngegciwane le HIV ngaphambi kokuba bazihlole ukuthi banalo yini.

MINAH NDUMBA: Siyabathola abantu. Sometimes babe baninzi kakhulu. Xa besibona ezindaweni zabo kulula intobana beze. Bayatesta – so siyancedakala.

MABUTHO: Okuqaphelekayo ukuthi kunabantu abavela nakwezinye izifundazwe abahambela ezindaweni zokuholela izimpesheni. UKealeboga Mohanetsi uvela eMafikeng, esifundazweni saseNorth West, kanti usebenza njengomthengisi wezimpahla zokugqoka ezindaweni zokuholela izimpesheni ezifundazweni ezahlukene. UMohanetsi ungomunye wabasanda kuthola ukwelulekwa ngegciwane. Nakuba ebukeka ethukile kepha uthi usekulungele ukuthi ayozihlolela igciwane le HIV.

KEALEBOGA MOHANETSI: Ja, I am ready to do everything just because if you’€™re staying without knowing that you have HIV, it is a difficult thing.

MABUTHO: Kanti nongumphathi we Madwaleni Hospital, uNoma Vinjwa akawuvali umlomo ngokubaluleka kokuhambela ezindaweni zokuholela impesheni.

NOMA VINJWA: Kuma pension points kulapho kalokhu abantu bebaninzi. Kukho even the young girls abazofuna igrant yabantwana babo. So, we get enormous numbers from these pension points.

MABUTHO: Nakuba loluhlelo lubukeka luhamba kahle, kepha uSister Willie uthi basenenkinga yokuthola isibalo esincane sabantu besilisa abezayo ukuzozihlolela igciwane le HIV.    

SISTER WILLIE: Beza kancinci abafani nabantu abangomama. Ngamanye amaxesha umuntu uya athumele inkosikazi yakhe, omunye ngamanye amaxesha athumele igirlfriend yakhe athi ‘€˜uma ngaba upositive ithetha uba nami ndi positive’€™. Ayiyo given point leyo intobana uba elinye iqabana lakho uba li positive nawe upositive. Yizoo testa nawe indawo engangeyakho ngoba ngamanye amaxesha amadoda awasuleleki ngokukhawuleza njengomama.

English summary

Pension day becomes VCT day

Madwaleni Hospital, in rural Mbashe just outside Mtata, in the Eastern Cape has come up with a new strategy to get more people to come for HIV testing. It takes testing services to the people.    

It was pension day in Xhora Mouth, a village in Mbashe, in rural Eastern Cape. When Health-e visited, Sister Nokulunga Willie of Madwaleni Hospital and her team were promoting a Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) campaign in the area. Xhora Mouth is approximately 30 km from the nearest hospital, but because of the bad roads it can take up to more than hour to reach it. That is one of the reasons why the hospital decided on a mobile VCT programme. Sister Willie explains how it all started.

‘€œOur VCT program was unable to attract people. We then went to schools but we were only getting school-children. We thought about visiting cattle dipping tanks, but we realized that we won’€™t get women because most of the time it is males who normally go there to dip their livestock. We then ended up endorsing the idea of visiting pension pay points because there you find a lot of different people. Some people go there to get their pension money, while some go there to sell their products, as you can see that this is Xhora Mouth area but we have people coming from as far as Qumbu and Mtata. We also help them as they do not have time to go to clinics because they are selling their products at different pension pay points,’€ she said,

Sister Willie added that ‘€œthe outreach program has been able to attract more people to get tested for HIV’€. She says they ‘€œalso have a number of people who are now on ARVs who were not going to get help if it was not for this outreach program’€.

Minah Ndumba is one of the counselors in the programme. She says reaching out to the communities has made things much easier for the local people, the majority of whom stay far away from the hospital where they can get tested for HIV.

‘€œWe get a lot of people because it is easy for them to come for an HIV test when we visit them in their areas, rather than for them to go to hospital because they live far from the hospital,’€ said Ndumba.

The Madwaleni Hospital outreach program does not only reach the local people. It also reaches out to people from other provinces. Kealeboga Mohanetsi is from Mafikeng in the North West. He sells clothes at different pension pay points all over the country. Mohanetsi decided to pause his business activities a little in order to do an HIV test. Although he looked nervous, he said he was ready to go for the test.

‘€œI am ready to do everything just because if you’€™re staying without knowing that you have HIV, it is a difficult thing,’€ said Mohanetsi.

Madwaleni Hospital Manager, Noma Vinjwa, says doing Voluntary Counseling and Testing at pension pay points makes her hospital’€™s VCT program unique from those offered by other health facilities in the region.

‘€œAt pension pay points it is the place where you get different people. Despite the older people who go there for their old age pension, there are young girls who go there to collect their children’€™s grants. Therefore, we get enormous numbers (of people) from these pension points.

Although the outreach program is now attracting numbers, Sister Willie says they are still struggling to attract a significant number of men to come for testing.

‘€œThey do not come in their numbers like women. Sometimes they send the wives or girlfriends and say ‘€˜if you’€™re positive, then it means I am also positive’€™. That is not the way it should be. It does not mean that if your girlfriend or wife is positive, you’€™re also positive. You need to go for an HIV test yourself ‘€“ because, sometimes, men are not easily infected like women,’€ said Sister Willie.