‘Dignity for needy’

2017-11-28 06:01

A drop-in centre is changing the lives of street people in the city centre – by offering them healthcare, a cup of coffee and dignity.

The De Waterkant drop-in care centre is run by TB/HIV Care and offers a non-judgmental space for vulnerable and marginalised people. They provide healthcare services and encourage safer drug use and HIV prevention, explains the organisation’s Alison Best.

“These healthcare services include HIV testing, hepatitis, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and TB screening, other health checks (for example, diabetes and blood pressure) and basic wound care,” she says.

The centre provides treatment, including antiretroviral therapy, counselling and support.

“People who are at increased risk of HIV, hepatitis and STIs (either through sharing or reusing needles or sex work) can also access harm reduction services at the centre. Harm reduction services are strategies that aim to reduce the risks associated with injecting drug use.

“One way TB/HIV Care reduces the harm associated with injecting drugs is by offering a needle exchange programme. Clean needles are exchanged for used needles – eliminating the need to share or reuse injecting equipment. Used needles are collected and destroyed in a safe manner and in accordance with regulations,” she explains.

The drop-in centre also offers pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to sex workers.

“PrEP is a new, safe HIV prevention method for HIV-negative people, which reduces the risk of HIV infection by more than 90%. The PrEP pill is taken daily and sex workers can get a prescription for, and supply of, PrEP at the centre,” she says.

“The drop-in centre is a place to hang out, to escape the hardships of the street for a while, to grab a shower or have access to lockers, computers and the internet. The centre provides skills development classes and advice for job seekers. Clients are given support, care and a cup of coffee.

“Above all else, the centre aims to restore the dignity of people in need – and allow them to exercise their right to healthcare.”

Around 110 people use the centre’s services daily, says Best, and of these visitors around 80% use drugs.

The impact of the centre has already been noted among street people in the CBD, says Pat Eddy, social development manager of the Cape Town City Central Improvement District.

V Continued on page 2.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.