Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre discuss their research in the fight against TB and HIV

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The fight against TB and HIV got a helping hand when research conducted by Witkoppen Clinic and funded by USAID was released recently.

That fight got a little bit easier with the recent release of research which focused on improving health service delivery in urban South Africa.

On 8 November the Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) communicated research which had been six years in the making.

The research, completed by Witkoppen staff through a grant provided by USAID, sought to determine which community health techniques and practices would work best towards the 90-90-90 goals to fight HIV/Aids and TB.

The 90-90-90 concept was introduced by the United Nations back in 2013 as a set of goals for healthcare. The idea is that by 2020, 90 percent of people who are HIV positive are diagnosed, 90 percent of those diagnosed are on ART (anti-retroviral treatment) to treat the disease and 90 percent of those on treatment will be virally suppressed (i.e. treatment is working).

Therefore, the aim of the research was to find the best ways to achieve these goals in the local urban communities.

“Today our purpose is to show the finding from the research, which will help us find out how we can work together in future [to fight TB and HIV],” said Dr Jean Bassett, the executive director of the Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre in her welcome speech during the event, which was hosted at Deloitte Place in Woodmead.

“The research took place from October 2016 until September 2018.”

The information gathered not only came from the Fourways-based clinic but came from research done in the Diepsloot, Kya Sand and the Lion Park informal settlements. Issues focused on included what issues and perceptions are held by the community, the best strategies to keep people in care and under treatment, how to utilize community health workers most effectively in urban communities and how to provide healthcare proactively.

Speakers also discussed diagnosing and preventing the spread of TB and how to Fight mother to child transmission of HIV.

“The Department of Health has had a relationship with Witkoppen for 30 years, and I can say that it is one of the facilities making us proud,” said Lombuso Malala, the deputy director for primary health care for the Joburg Health Region, who attended on behalf of the Department of Health and gave the keynote address.

“What I’d like to say is: Thank you very much [Witkoppen Clinic] for conducting this research, and thank you USAID for funding it,” Malala ended.