Siyathokoza ART Clinic, Botshabelo, Archdiocese of Bloemfontein

SIYATHOKOZA HBC & ART PROJECT

1 July 2012 – 30 September 2012

We are still receiving bulk ARVs from the CDU and thus far a few challenges were encountered, but we have managed to resolve them. We are negotiating with the DOH to supply us with OI meds and to amend the existing MOU. The DOH has been monitoring our progress with visits from the local Hospital staff as well as the Province. We are also trying to engage the DOH in discussions about the transition from PEPFAR to Government.

Sisters of the Holy Cross are referring patients and some very sick patients are showing up for VCT.  We have continued VCT, initial blood tests, as well as the adherence training and then referred patients to local Government sites with their results for treatment initiation. When we have an opening due to patients leaving the program we will start a new patient in their place. During the past month we have experienced some challenges in getting rapid test kits and lab forms. We are also trying to test more couples. One of our counselors attended government training on the new test kits and will share her new wisdom with the other counselors.

We have also identified a need for the re-training of some patients who have been on treatment for a long time; we will be addressing this with refresher adherence training for the identified patients.

We have been testing men as they come. We have asked the Sisters at the Health Centre to encourage suspect patients to come for VCT; they know and trust the Sisters and we have had some measure of success with this. The numbers are slowly picking up. We are also encouraging our male patients to bring their friends for VCT, but thus far we have had limited success.

We still attend meetings with the Department of Health. All our Lab work is done through the local government hospital. The only challenge we are currently facing is the availability of lab forms, vacutainers and rapid test kits due to stock shortages, but we have been working closely with the local clinics and we share what is available till we receive adequate supplies.