TB HIVCare celebrates 90 years

Chief Executive Officer of TB HIV Care, Professor Harry Hausler, hugs one of the singers.

A charity auction has raised more than R80 000 to set up a pre-school for young TB patients at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital.

The auction was held during TB HIV Care’s 90th anniversary celebrations at a Bantry Bay hotel last Thursday.

The non-profit organisation was founded as the Nelspoort After Care Committee in 1929 to care for TB patients and their families.

Guests included Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, chairman of the Parliament’s portfolio committee on health, Sibongiseni Dhlomo and American health attaché, Dr Sophia Siddiqui.

TB HIV Care’s community health-worker choir sang Happy Birthday.

A William Kentridge print was the centrepiece of the auction, selling for R75 000.

Since its founding, the NPO’s services have evolved to include the prevention and treatment of HIV and other major diseases.

It does HIV testing, runs awareness workshops for the youth and deploys community health workers to check people are taking their medication.

TB HIV Care’s Chief Executive Officer Professor Harry Hausler, said that in the past financial year, the organisation had supported 4 258 adolescent girls and young women and 1 435 sex workers to start pre-exposure prophylaxis – a pill taken daily to prevent them getting HIV.

The organisation had also tested 911 184 people for HIV, mainly in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

“We understand that the key to achieving sustainable change in health systems is to work with all stakeholders. This includes government, academia, civil society and affected communities. One of TB HIV Care’s strengths is that we are rooted in the communities we serve – many of our staff are also community members and peers,” said Professor Hausler.

Mr Dhlomo said the battle against TB had come a long way but the disease was still very prevalent.

“All of us have a role to play, so generations to come can say we did our best,” he said.