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Msunduze Community and Primary Health Care Centre and Mbuluzi Clinic in Mbabane, Swaziland
The Salvation Army Swaziland Community Care Programme began operating in 1991 as an HIV/AIDS education and prevention initiative. By 1993, however, education and information had evolved into a home-based care programme operating through outreach activities in the communities on the edge of the city and surrounding areas, targeting 14 areas with a total population of 58,000. These areas include; Msunduza, Corporation, Gobholo, Mncitsini, Mntulwini, Macobolwane, PTS, Sidvwashini, Ntabamhlophe, Manzana, Nkwalini, Checkers, Mahwalala and Mangwaneni.
In addition to having a main clinic site in Mbabane, a satellite clinic operates in Mbuluzi. a mobile clinic in Nsukumbili/Dlangeni is also arranged by the clinic staff once a week in order to provide basic medical services to the surrounding population. The aim of the programme is to increase access to primary health care to the vulnerable communities in the rural areas and in particular to try and play an active role in HIV/Aids awareness and treatment.
The level of HIV/Aids is disturbingly high at 26% and many often find themselves unable to travel the long distances to the government hospital for treatment. The TSA health points are often the only ones within a reasonable distance for them. However, the very hilly terrain and the lack of transport on the dirt roads in the rural areas means that the majority of people travel on foot.
The home-based care programmes have been vital to homebound patients who are unable to get the help and assistance that they need. Not only can they be assured that any medical needs will be addressed or referred to a medical staff member, but the home-based carers help with daily chores such as bathing and cooking.
In 2011, 55 trained carers were active in their communities, providing assistance to 145 patients. These carers are volunteers – women in particular- who have a heart for wanting to help those in need in their communities. The carers are committed to their patients and willing to travel many long distances on foot to go to care for them. Were it not for the committed, care and compassion of the volunteer carers, many men and women would be abandoned and living in undignified circumstances. Thanks to The Salvation Army Community Care Programme in Swaziland, lives are being touched, hope and dignity is being brought back into the lives of those who are vulnerable and marginalized.
It its current programme phase, TSA Swaziland is committed to become more active in advocating for the rights of people living with HIV/Aids, as well as trying to engage more strongly with men and young people when it comes to home-based care. The Salvation Army uses facilitation methods to hold conversations with communities and help them to identify and address issues that they are facing. This approach helps to empower communities to identify their existing strengths and encourages them to take the development of their lives into their own hands and not wait for someone else to come and tell them what to do.
For further information:
Tel: (00) 268-2404 5234