New R1.35 Million Infectious Diseases Unit for Heideveld Community Health Centre
Mitchells Plain is the area with the highest number of reported TB cases with 1595 out of a 100 000 population, Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said today. He officiated the opening of the new R1.35 million infectious diseases unit at the Heideveld Community Health Centre (CHC).
In April 2010, the CHC started to provide ARV services, and GF Jooste Hospital’s ARV patients were also transferred to Heideveld CHC. Within one year the ARV patient number increased from 940 to more than 1300. It follows that the facility was too small.
The new unit has two additional consultation rooms, and a separate room for TB patients that provide TB filter lights and improved ventilation to stop cross-infection between patients and staff.
The total cost for the upgrade amounted to R1.35 million - R750 000 for construction and renovation and R600 000 for medical equipment.
Donors include the Eskom Foundation, Hyundai Bellville, Tianshi SA, SITA, Trialpha Investment Managers, Schlumberger Logelco Inc, Bytes Managed Solutions, Indigo Brands, Coca Cola Canners, MTN SA Foundation and Rockwell Automation.
Heideveld CHC serves a population of approximately 35 000 people who live in Heideveld, Welcome Estate, Vanguard Estate, Manenberg, Surrey Estate, Primrose Park, and Tambo Village.
Apart from ARV services, Heideveld CHC offers basic antenatal care, chronic and curative services, disability grant assessments, social work counselling, health promotion, emergency, contraception and sterilisation services. Minor theatre cases, medical male circumcision, pharmaceutical services, nutritional services, radiography, physiotherapy, dental Services, mental health services and school health services are also offered.
The SA Medical and Educational Foundation, who facilitated the upgrade, is a non-profit organisation and its mission is to create an environment where quality health care and education is available to everyone. Other HIV / TB projects that the foundation is working on at present are the ART clinics in Atlantis, Ceres, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn.
According to World Health Organization standards, South Africa has a TB case detection rate of over 70%, so we are registering the majority of TB cases.
Minister Botha said “Factors that contribute to the high number in Khayelitsha sub-district is that it is also a high burden area for HIV which has largely contributed to the rapid spread of TB. It is also an area with a high poverty index which is associated with factors that contribute to the spread of TB such as overcrowding, unemployment, substance abuse and poor nutritional status.”
The challenge remains to detect positive TB cases much earlier and commence these patients on TB treatment so that they are no longer infectious and transmitting TB. Initiatives in this regard are in the process of being implemented and include strategies such as using new improved TB diagnostic technology and conducting TB case-finding campaigns.
The Western Cape Department of Health implement the World Health Organization DOTS strategy to combat TB. This strategy includes ensuring accurate diagnosis of TB, provision and management of an uninterrupted supply of anti-TB medicines, provision of adherence support, making available adequate personnel and funding to the TB programme, implementing standardised recording and reporting of the programme and monitoring and evaluation.
Overall the Western Cape has very high TB cure rates (the best in South Africa). However more needs to be done to detect TB cases much earlier and prevent TB transmission in the community. Many people still present very late to our facilities when they are very infectious and have infected other family members.
The department has a large network of community care workers in each district, funded by the department through NGOs to provide community and home-based services.