by NJABULO MKHIZE in Durban
KwaZulu Natal Bureau
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – AFTER 21 years of offering critical HIV/AIDS services, the Ithembalabantu Clinic in the KwaZulu Natal (KZN) province is closing its doors.
Patients at the facility in Umlazi will now be transferred to government health facilities where they are set to benefit from a more comprehensive package of health services beyond HIV/AIDS.
They are to receive treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), tuberculosis (TB), diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as primary care services and antenatal care.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced that it has begun the process of winding down operations at Ithembalabantu.
“While transitioning means that Ithembalabantu Clinic will close its doors, the patients will continue their care and have the opportunity to receive additional, comprehensive services at government clinics of their choice,” Dr Penninah Iutung, the AHF Africa Bureau Chief, said.
Over 14 000 patients that have accessed HIV services at the clinic since its inception in 2001.
Ithembalabantu, which has been in operation over the past 20 years, was run by AHF in partnership with the Department of Health in South Africa, through the Provincial Government.
Iutung said they would ensure our patients are transfered in a smooth, organized, systematic manner to conveniently located government clinics.
“We remain committed to supporting the HIV/AIDS response in South Africa through our other provincial government clinics that we support,” she emphasised.
AHF is working closely with staff, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and labour unions to ensure employees are treated fairly and in accordance with the provisions of the law.
AHF currently supports 20 other facilities within the eThekwini district.
AHF also has a presence in Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces.
– CAJ News