|Mzi Tshikitsha, Health Programmes Manager|
We kick off with the Health Programmes Report by Programme Manager, Mzi Tshikitsha.
- Home Based Care
- Ward Based Outreach Team
- HIV Counseling and Testing
- Social Mobilisation.
This post will report on Home Based Care and Ward Based Outreach
Home Based Care
Started in 2000 the programme provides home-based care and support to patients in the Randfontein area who suffer from life-threatening or terminal illnesses. Care is provided by people in the community, who are supported by trained Community Health Workers (CHW) and a supervisor. In addition there is a professional nurse and a Carryou Ministry Social Auxiliary Worker.
The Home Based Care Programme team consists of 43 trained community health workers who have, over the years, cared for thousands of people. They provide the following services to home-based patients:
- Meal preparation
- Household chore help
- Health education
- Medication intake monitoring (TB and ARV)
- Pain and other symptom Control
- Bereavement counseling and referral services.
Ward Based Outreach Programme
The Department of Health took away all trained and untrained CHWs in Carryou Ministry and based them in surrounding clinics. Those who were untrained were given training. They report to the clinic sister who oversees their work and daily activities and sometimes accompanies them when they visit patients. The programme is based on a Cuban model that involves everyone in holistically helping a patient.
The role of Community Health Workers in the programme is:
- Promoting health and preventing illness
- Conducting structured household assessments to identify health needs
- Providing psychosocial support to community members
- Conducting community assessments and mobilsing around the needs of the community
- Identifying and managing minor health problems
- Providing a support continuum of care through service co-ordination with other relevant service providers
CHWs are required to adopt an integrated approach in how they manage health problems. This includes:
- Treatment literacy supported with good quality educational tools
- Practical adherence advice eg. on scheduling doses
- Regular pill counts, particularly in early phases of treatment
- Identifying and briefing treatment buddies/supporters
- Provision of supportive tools such as pill boxes
- Availabilty of support groups
- Assistance with collection of tablets and negotiating with local clinics
- Early identification of individuals and households at risk of poor adherence