Health

  • The Moretele Sub-district has 21 clinics with 6 of those converted to operate 24 hours a day
  • 9% of the 21 clinics have extended hours of operation
  • One youth centre with satellite service points
  • Two health mobile clinics with 20 mobile points
  • One dental mobile clinic with 10 mobile points including clinics

 

Aims for health care improvement

  • Addressing access to health care
  • Increasing patients' participation and the dignity afforded to them
  • Reducing underlying causes of illness, injury, and disability through preventive and health promotion activities
  • Expanding research on evidence of effectiveness;
  • Ensuring the appropriate use of health care services; and
  • Reducing health care errors (adverse events)

 

Services provided by the local clinics include the following:

  • Comprehensive PHC services.
  • Ante natal and Post natal care
  • Maternity services
  • Child Health
  • Reproductive Health
  • PMTCT and VCT
  • ARV site at Mathibestad
  • Youth services at two points only
  • CTOP Services at Makapanstad only
  • Mental Health services

 

Approach to HIV/Aids

Family members of people living with or dying from HIV/AIDS are directly affected by the disease. People who are ill or dying are usually breadwinners and parents. This means that children are often put in the role of caregivers of those who are ill and at the same time have to find ways for the family to survive financially.

If both parents die many children are left heading households and looking after younger siblings. Children not only lose financial security but also very often lose their mothers who are their primary emotional caregivers. In most families affected by AIDS, teenage girls are the first to step into the mother’s shoes and to take over providing and caring for the family. This means that girls have to leave school and lose a chance of getting an education that could lead to better employment in the future.

Families are also affected by very high costs associated with the disease - both for caring for the ill and for burying them. Many families spend a large part of their annual income paying for a single funeral (up to half in some cases). Families also suffer because of the loss in income because of the loss of productive time that members who are caring for the ill can spend outside the home.

The additional stress of looking after someone who is ill and dealing with the emotional trauma of a parent dying can put a great burden on the psychological well being of family members. At the best of times losing a parent is a difficult thing for a child to deal with. When it happens in an atmosphere of insecurity, financial problems and surrounded by the stigma, secrecy and suspicion created by AIDS, it becomes even more difficult.

 

Community

The poorest communities in our areas are often the ones that are expected to carry the heaviest burden as a result of HIV/AIDS. It is in poor communities where more people die and where relatives, neighbours and grandmothers are expected to provide the extra care, money and food needed by AIDS orphans.

The burden of looking after the ill who cannot afford medical care also falls on the poor. While so many people are dying from AIDS poor families are getting bigger - those families that are intact often take in children who are related to them who have lost their own parents. It is in the poorest communities where orphans also pose a potential threat in terms of social stability. Children living in child-headed households or on the streets lack adult parental guidance, support and discipline. Out of desperation they may turn to crime. There are already areas in our country where orphans and old people outnumber the economically active adults. This also has serious implications for the elderly who rely on their own children for support in their old age.

The welfare system run by the Department of Social Development is only beginning to cope with the consequences of AIDS. Child support grants and foster grants for orphans are available but the take-up rate is not very high. Once everyone affected starts accessing these grants the state will have to find a large amount of extra funds to support orphans. This will put pressure on other welfare grants such as pensions. Welfare organisations at local level are also over-stretched as a result of dealing with so many more people in need.

 

Testing and counselling

Provision of testing and counselling facilities so that those who are already infected can find out about their status and play an active part in preventing the further spread of the disease. Testing is only effective when confidentiality is guaranteed and when people who come for voluntary testing are assured that no one will find out. Counselling is very important to help deal with the emotional effect of finding out that you are HIV positive as well as the choices you have to make to change your lifestyle so that you do not further spread the disease.

Treatment of sexually transmitted diseases [STDs] and TB has to be an integral part of any response to AIDS since people with those diseases are more vulnerable. People who are already HIV positive need treatment for opportunistic infections and to prevent mother to child transmission. They need a supply of condoms as well as guidance and support to lead healthy lifestyles and follow healthy dietsSpecific projects have to be developed to provide for the health care needs of people who are ill with AIDS. Home care is an important aspect of this and there are many examples of home-care volunteers playing a major role in supporting people who are ill. Support also has to be organised for people’s basic needs and for feeding their families.

Contacts:                               

Cynthia Radebe (Health Officer)
Tel:  012 716 1350
Email: cynthia.radebe@moretele.org.za