On the 13th of September, Keiskamma Trust joined thousands of Eastern Cape citizens, Section 27, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and other civil society organizations on a march to demand improved health care in the Eastern Cape. The march was organized by the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Coalition(ECHCAC) and followed the release of a report 'Death and Dying in the Eastern Cape' which detailed the appalling state of health services in the Eastern Cape. The Hamburg clinic featured on page one of this report and after many years of struggle, the clinics plea to get the clinic renovated or re-built can no longer be ignored. In the same week the report was released, the National Department of Health visited the Hamburg clinic and promised the clinic sisters they would address the situation.
The Keiskamma Trust will continue to work closely with local clinics to strengthen the existing health care services. This partnership is crucial to improving the health of the communities we serve. Mark Heywood from the TAC specifically mentioned both the Hamburg clinic and the community health workers who are at the front line of service delivery.
The Minister of Health released a press statement on the 19th September and publicly acknowledged the problems in the Eastern Cape health system and that strategies to address these problems are being developed. ECHAC has welcomed the ministers comments and is dedicated to monitoring their implementation. ECHCAC has called for a comprehensive health care plan which includes measurable indicators, milestones and clearly defined responsible parties. ECHAC have give the DOH until 11th October 2013 to bring this plan to the table. ECHAC has committed to continue the fight until people in the Eastern Cape have the health services that the Constitution entitles them to.
Read Death and Dying in the Eastern Cape Annual Report: click here.
Congratulations to the Keiskamma team who won a Management Development Institute (MDI) scholarship for Managers and Leaders of Health Care Organisations.
Thabang Meslane, Leanne Brady, Noluvo Xhotyeni, Unathi Meslane, Kali Bechtold from Keiskamma Trust and Sister Nozuko Mange from Norah Clinic attended the intensive 7 day course run by the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business and the University of California, Los Angeles.
The training included the following topics: Organisational Planning, Financial Management, Leadership and HR Management, Program Monitoring and Evaluation, Operations Management and Social Marketing.
Competing against over a hundred applicants, they were the only successful South African team and joined participants from Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Namibia. The course was a fantastic opportunity to share experience (both challenged and successes) as well as learn a range of valuable skills.
The course was also used to develop a community health improvement project (CHIP) aimed at strengthening the PMTCT services at Norah clinic through a community health worker initiative and the team is looking forward to implementing this program over the next year!
Thabang Meslane, Kali Bechtold, Unathi Meslane, Leanne Brady, Sister Nozuko Mange and Noluvo Xhotyeni