When it comes to acute or chronic health issues, knowing your health status is the first step in addressing the many problems that may present. Sizanani’s holistic approach to health provides support to clients where they are, and is inclusive of the entire family. For example, those affected may need help accessing medical services, adequate nutrition, health education, emotional support, or even assistance with daily chores and responsibilities. Sizanani caregivers work with clients in the privacy of their own homes, where they are free to discuss and ask questions about issues that affect their lives. In addition, our staff offer formal and informal health education in these settings, which leads to greater awareness and the courage to act.
HIV Counselling & Testing (HCT)
An essential strategy in HIV prevention is education in order to raise awareness. Sizanani’s HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) staff provide education, counselling, testing and support to those who are affected. Our HCT services are provided by trained counsellors and a professional nurse, who encourage those they meet to know their HIV status. They provide convenient, confidential and caring opportunities to test. Testing may be done during home visits, at community gatherings and clinics, and via door-to-door awareness campaigns that are conducted each week in different areas of Nkandla.
Patient Advocates (PA’s)
The Patient Advocate Programme was developed In 2007, when Sizanani partnered with the organisation Absolute Return for Kids (ARK). One of ARK’s priority projects was to identify and train Patient Advocates (PAs) who were already serving in three clinics (Chwezi, Thalaneni and Nongamlana). Today, the Patient Advocates, who also live in the communities they serve, provide support to clients and their assigned clinics. Their service helps the clinics achieve set goals as outlined in the Department of Health National Strategic Plan.
Proper adherence to treatment for HIV or TB is essential, yet many obstacles may get in the way, generating serious consequences. That is why our caregivers monitor treatment adherence via pill counts and one-on-one counselling with our clients. In doing so, they are able to identify and address the barriers that may arise. In addition, Sizanani offers clinical nutrition to clients when needed in the form of e-pap (a high protein porridge) and micronutrients. Time and again, we have seen severely emaciated patients struggling with medication improve dramatically; their appetites increase, they gain weight, they start to tolerate their medication, and their spirits improve.
The number of kilometres travelled by SOP in 2015 to deliver services. The vast majority of our clients live in deeply rural, isolated locations. Our teams of caregivers go out each day, offering health related services and more to those who might not otherwise access services.
The total number of home visits that SOP conducted in just one year alone (April 2015 to March 2016). During the year, our staff provided 2,860 health education sessions to their clients. They also tested 1,515 people for HIV and screened 1,809 people for tuberculosis (TB).
Families with one or more HIV positive members. In addition, a total of 174 families have one or more members who are living with at least one other chronic health condition (often times, these are co-occurring as those affected by HIV are more vulnerable to a variety of other health issues).
SOP clients who are living with HIV. In addition, 229 clients are living with another chronic health condition (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, asthma, etc) and 113 have a disability. Often, clients are experiencing more than one serious health issue, which makes them even more vulnerable.