Residents of the Clare Estate and surrounding areas were treated to an edutainment programme hosted and organised by the clinic, which aimed to educate about health issues such as TB and HIV.
The event, held in partnership with the Health Systems Trust and eThekwini Health Unit was attended by a large number of the community including Ward 25 Councillor Hassan Haniff, who showed support of the initiative. Residents were informed about the importance of regular check-ups and being consistent with their medication intake, highlighting the importance of supporting each other.
Clinic manager, Clementine Radebe emphasised that the engagement with the community was crucial to inform them about the services available in the Clare Estate Clinic. ” We wanted the people to know we are here and the services available to them at the clinic. And, if we can’t do it for you at the clinic, what do we do, this was the point of the open day event.”
Radebe also used the opportunity to introduce the clinic committee and new streams, including testing and mother and child services. An outreach programme was introduced where people go out on a daily basis to the community to render their services, testing for diabetes and BP.
Community member in attendance, Vuyiswa Khumalo left the event satisfied and full of praises for the clinic and staff. The resident from Foreman Road informal settlement said she struggled to get treatment due to fear and the “what will people say syndrome.”
“I am here and alive because of the staff in this clinic, I was suffering from TB and they got me into a six month treatment programme. I want people to know that there is no shame in seeking treatment. The stigma around TB and HIV has cost us too many lives. We need more days like this where people are encouraged to know more about their health and where to get support, also creating a safe environment for men, especially to talk,” she said.
However, the lack of male residents at the event was clearly visible and highlighted by Haniff who said the matter had been addressed and “a meeting will be held for men to be able to speak freely without women present.”
“Some men don’t feel free to talk about their health issues which makes them reluctant to go to the clinic and seek help. This in turn affects the women in their lives who end up with the burden of the disease and sometimes unwanted pregnancies,” Haniff added.