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67 ways to help this Mandela Day: Giving back to those who risk their lives for our health

A health worker holds a sample for a person's Covid-19 test. Picture: Fernando Vergara/AP

A health worker holds a sample for a person's Covid-19 test. Picture: Fernando Vergara/AP

Published Jul 18, 2020

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In the spirit of Ubuntu, remembering South Africa’s late father of freedom and the call to “take action and inspire change”, TB HIV Care launched the ‘Care Fund’ on Mandela Day. This fund seeks to encourage individual giving on an ongoing basis to provide support to TB HIV Care’s community health worker programme – one of the most under-resourced elements of our health system. 

 

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The community health worker programme provides critical services to South Africa’s people. When Covid-19 arrived in our country, it was community health workers who were called to the frontlines to implement mass screening in our communities. 

TB HIV Care’s CHWs in the Cape Metro alone, have screened more than 38 000 people for Covid-19 in just a few months. In addition to this, studies have shown the impact CHWs can have in improving child and maternal health, access to reproductive and sexual health services and adherence to TB and HIV treatment. 

Yet community health workers are exposed to a number of dangers while delivering services on foot, walking from household-to-household in all weathers. 

Year on year, TB HIV Care’s rallies to try and close basic gaps in the programme. These gaps include PPE, panic buttons, psychosocial support and more.

 

“This year we have decided to be proactive and find ways to build resources and our staff within this programme to deliver the best possible service. Through launching this fund, we are hoping to provide more support for this programme in areas where it is really needed,” said Simone Van Willingh, Public-private Partnership Coordinator.

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“During the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been community health workers in particular who have carried their communities, showing tremendous bravery by going door-to-door to each and every household. This Mandela Day we want to honour them.”

 

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“I learned that courage was not absence of fear, but triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”- Nelson Mandela

  

Donations can be made via TB HIV Care’s website (www.tbhivcare.org), click on donate.  

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* Find more organisations and worthy causes to support on Mandela Day:  https://www.iol.co.za/trends/mandeladay

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