The final edition of the government taxi rank HIV/AIDS testing and male medical circumcision campaign saw a convincing number of drivers and commuters visiting the mobile facility on Friday, 30 November. A relatively large number of taxi drivers and passengers queued up the mobile clinic stationed at the Chesterville rank in Warwick Avenue, Durban.
Health Care workers educated members of the public about various health issues. Leading up to World Aids Day,which was commemorated on 1 December, eThekwini municipality mayor, Zandile Gumede had called on community members to visit the mobile healthcare centre for HIV/AIDS testing and circumcision. The city’s World Aids Day commemoration took place in Reservoir Hills on Saturday under the theme “Checka impilo. Know Your Status”.
A Chesterville-based taxi driver, Sifiso Mthombeni heeded the call by visiting the mobile clinic for circumcision. He said he always had a wish to get circumcised but could not visit health facilities because of his busy daily schedule. However, he thanked the taxi
rank program for bringing the mobile centre to the rank. ”As taxi drivers are part of society, we also feel duty bound to heed the call to test. It is for a good cause because it calls on everyone to be part of the war against STI’s including HIV/AIDS,’ Mthombeni said.
He heaped praises on the KZN Health Department for bringing the mobile clinics closer to the people saying it has helped to introduce and encourage drivers to get tested for HIV and also to get circumcised. He also encouraged his fellow taxi drivers to get tested. Themba Sibeko, a taxi driver from Umbilo said he never thought about circumcision until the program was brought to the ranks. ”I knew about testing and circumcising but I never consider it as something serious. But, since I was introduced to it through this program, I realised how big the need was for me to get circumcised so that I get protected from sexually transmitted diseases,” he said.
Sibeko got tested before getting circumcised. The program to take the medical male circumcision and testing was introduced by KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo in 2014 and had since then been conducted every quarter of the year.
According to Lencer Clinic Durban’s staff nurse Nokuthula Mthembu, the fourth quarter of 2018 campaign saw a huge turn out for testing. Lancer Clinic is assigned to conduct the testing. ”The number keeps growing every quarter of the year. This is an indication that the program is being well received to the target market,” she said.