New ARV clinic wing opens

MAWABO MAHLAZA AND STAFF REPORTER

The City of Cape Town’s health directorate officially opened its new dedicated anti-retroviral (ARV) wing at the Seawinds clinic last Thursday, June 2.

The Seawinds clinic first started operating as a satellite clinic in October 1993, servicing the communities of Seawinds, Montague Village, Capricorn and Hillview. The growing population necessitated the need for an expansion of the facility and services in 2003.

In 2011, a further need for expansion was identified – specifically the need to render an ARV service. Planning started in 2011, with construction getting under way in earnest in 2013. A few months ago and just over R8 million later, the project was completed.

Last week, the clinic started rolling out ARV services to patients who have been transferred from the Retreat Community Health Centre. It will also offer the service to those who test positive at Seawinds and continue servicing co-infected patients who have both tuberculosis and HIV. From August, stable HIV clients who are part of the ARV club system will also be transferred from Retreat Community Health Centre. In addition to starting the ARV service, Seawinds clinic will start offering a basic antenatal care service to HIV positive mothers-to-be.

“This is indeed a milestone and indicative of our commitment to meeting the needs of the many communities who rely on the public health sector. Seawinds clinic has served the community for more than two decades and we have had to keep pace with the growing population and their health needs. I am immensely proud that we have finally reached this point and I hope that the community will take ownership of the facility, which is ultimately here to serve them,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for health, Siyabulela Mamkeli.

Former manager of the clinic, Tessa Carollissen said what people were seeing at the clinic was the end product of hard work.

Dr Mohamed Osman, the district manager of health services, said they would hire more staff in order to deliver the best health services.

“It is a good thing that this has happened to us, because people will no longer be referred to other places like Retreat clinic”, said Dr Osman.

The facility manager of the clinic, Teboho Ramasasa said the community will now get better health services in Seawinds with less travelling by patients, more staff skills, knowledge, convenience and a state of well-being for the community.

Mr Mamkeli heaped praises on Ms Carollissen for the completion of the work she had started.

Mr Mamkeli said the issue of health is very important because the majority of people are depended on the government when it comes to health services.

“I appeal to the community that they look after this facility since it’s them most of the time who vandalise their property,” said Mr Mamkeli.

He also praised the staff for the sterling job they have done during the trying times.

The chairperson of the portfolio committee, Cynthia Clayton, who has a background in nursing, also had words of encouragement for the staff.

Dr Zandi Mahlangu, who is an executive director for the City’s health services, said in a period of three years they never received a complaint from the community about the Seawinds clinic.

Dr Mahlangu also praised the current manager, Mr Ramasasa and the former manager, Ms Carollissen for their good work.

Councillor Yoliswa Ngqame said it was a good thing to have this renewed clinic although it is looking after a big place like Seawinds, and especially when it comes to children and TB patients.

In closing, Kelobogile Shuping, is the head of the primary health care for the Southern sub-district, thanked the staff, City of Cape Town councillors and every one who attended the event.