ARV clinic opens doors

2016-06-07 06:00
Staff members pose for a photo with Mayco member for health Siyabulela Mamkeli (centre) after he officially opened the revamped Seawinds Clinic on Thursday 2 June. Since its opening in 1993, the clinic has been revamped a number of times to accommodate the growing population.

Staff members pose for a photo with Mayco member for health Siyabulela Mamkeli (centre) after he officially opened the revamped Seawinds Clinic on Thursday 2 June. Since its opening in 1993, the clinic has been revamped a number of times to accommodate the growing population.

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The City of Cape Town’s Health Directorate officially opened its new dedicated anti-retroviral (ARV) wing at the Seawinds Clinic on Thursday 2 June.

The Seawinds Clinic first started operating as a satellite clinic in October 1993, servicing the communities of Seawinds, Montague Village, Capricorn and Hillview.

The growing population necessitated the need for an expansion of the facility and services in 2003. In 2011, a further need for expansion was identified – specifically the need to render an ARV service. Planning started in 2011, with construction getting under way in earnest in 2013.

A few months ago, and just over R8m later, the project was completed.

The clinic started rolling out ARV services to new start clients who have been transferred from the Retreat Community Health Centre. It will also offer the service to clients who test positive at Seawinds and continue servicing co-infected clients who have both tuberculosis and HIV.

From August, stable HIV clients who are part of the ARV club system will also be transferred from Retreat Community Health Centre.

In addition to starting the ARV service, Seawinds Clinic will start offering a basic antenatal care service to HIV positive mothers-to-be.

Siyabulela Mamkeli, Mayco member for health, says this is indeed a milestone and indicative of their commitment to meeting the needs of the many communities who rely on the public health sector.

“Seawinds Clinic has served the community for more than two decades and we have had to keep pace with the growing population and their health needs. I am immensely proud that we have finally reached this point and I hope that the community will take ownership of the facility, which is ultimately here to serve them,” he says.

Seawinds Clinic is one of five City Health facilities that have been upgraded in the last five years.

“The progress allowed needs to be viewed in context, which is that City Health is essentially an unfunded mandate and we therefore do not have the luxury to expand and build new facilities as quickly as we might like,” says Mamkeli.

“We realise that there is an ever-growing demand on our health-care service which is further compounded by forced expenditure as a result of theft and vandalism. We are working hard to provide infrastructure, but at the same time our health indicators show that our staff are doing very well at building healthier communities, in spite of some very trying circumstances.”.

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