Chaps promote health

2018-05-09 06:02
The recruiters and other stakeholders of the Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (Chaps) are from the left Lescar Isaacs, Leonardo Olyn, Michel Norman, Zoliswa Jogom (all Chaps recruiters), Manana Thamane (Chaps outreach manager) and Edward Mosimeng (educator of the Department of Health).Photos: Supplied

The recruiters and other stakeholders of the Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (Chaps) are from the left Lescar Isaacs, Leonardo Olyn, Michel Norman, Zoliswa Jogom (all Chaps recruiters), Manana Thamane (Chaps outreach manager) and Edward Mosimeng (educator of the Department of Health).Photos: Supplied

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Community members in the Northern Cape are making good stride in heeding the call for intervention towards redu­cing the risks of HIV and Aids.

This is according to the Centre for HIV and AIDS Prevention Studies (Chaps) after what they regard as a successful circumcision campaign in the Phokwane Municipality on 28 and 29 April.

Chaps is a non-governmental organisation that carries out medical male circumcision (MMC) for free throughout the province, and reported to have already covered three districts.

The team, in collaboration with the Department of Health, applauded the community after the completion of 224 MMCs at the Connie Foster Hospital in Hartswater over the two days.

According to Manana Thamane, Chaps outreach manager, they recruited members of the community with loudhailers fitted on vehicles and through door-to-door campaigns. This was done by their professional recruiters who referred the community members to their local hospital for the procedure, performed by the Chaps team.

She said their staff members include enrolled nurses, doctors, qualified clinic associates, HIV and Aids councillors and recruiters.

Circumcision is lauded for reducing the chances of contracting some sexual transmitted infections by 60%.

An indirect benefit for females is that their chance to contract cervical cancer is less when having sex with a man who was circumcised.

Thamane said Chaps has a taxi that transports patients from and to their home.

The project was initially established in 2008 by Dr Dirk Taljaard, operating under the name, Bophelo Pele.

At that time they completed a survey on male circumcision at Orange Farm in Johannesburg.

“That is where the need and demand for male circumcision was identified. It led to the expansion of the project and the name changed to Chaps,” she said.

Since the campaign has been running in other provinces as well, it was noticed by community members.

According to Thamane their main focus is to encourage and recruit sexually active people aged 15 an upwards.

“We do not really turn away anyone who volunteers to undergo the procedure.”

She added that they already have an extended joint venture with the Galeshewe Day Hospital and the Postmasburg Hospital whenever they have an influx of clients they are unable to assist in time.

Manana called on communities to erase the mental attitude that winter is the right time to undergo circumcision.

“It is a myth and they should distance themselves from it.

“Prevention is better than curing. You do not dictate when an accident happens. It is better to protect yourself before it is too late,” she urged.

She expressed Chaps’ eagerness to reach out to the John Taolo Gaetsewe (JTG) District and the Pixley ka Seme District.

“We will soon be hiring 12 recruiters in JTG and 16 in Pixley ka Seme.”

She expressed her wish for Chaps to work hand in hand with Traditional Male Circumcision (TMC) stakeholders on their strive, as they still experience a lack of knowledge among the community members.

They have never really experienced any challenges and would like to assure the communities that their recrui­ters are professional to also negotiate partial circumcision.

We do not really turn away anyone who volunteers to undergo

the procedure.

- Manana Thamane

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