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PEPFAR Supports Ground-breaking Community Caregiver (CCG) Training in KZN

PEPFAR Supports Ground-breaking Community Caregiver (CCG) Training in KZN

ConGen Ruggles Receiving Award from MEC Dhlomo

ConGen Ruggles Receiving Award from MEC Dhlomo

On August 27, 2013 an awards ceremony for approximately 2,000 CCGs took place in the presence of high level provincial representation from the KZN Office of the Premier (OTP), the Department of Health (DoH), and Department of Social Development (DSD) as well as key representatives from the US Government, USAID, PEPFAR, CDC and long standing USAID partner, BroadReach Healthcare.

Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) is an integrated programme of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to fight disease, in particular HIV/AIDS/TB, ensure food security, reduce poverty, empower women and youth, and to instil behavioural change amongst the citizens of the province. At the core of OSS are CCGs whose role it is to connect households with service delivery providers to ensure citizens are afforded healthcare and social services in their communities.

Consul General Taylor Ruggles and USAID Health Director Roxana Rogers De Sole  addressed nearly 2,000 CCGs and more than 200 officials from KZN Province and its districts, and congratulated the CCGs on their certifications. CCGs were awarded certification for having completed their Integrated Community Caregivers Foundation Course, is a comprehensive 10-day training course aimed at building the capacity of CCGs in their role as the intermediary between the community and government.

The course provides them with the requisite knowledge, skills and tools to educate, screen, and refer clients to appropriate service providers, and to assist them in empowering individuals and communities to take responsibility for their own health through positive health seeking behaviours. The training addresses needs of all types of individuals from new-born babies, infants, children, youth, adult males, adult females, pregnant mothers, people living with HIV and those living with disabilities. In large part due to PEPFAR assistance via USAID’s implementing partner BroadReach Healthcare, approximately 2,000 CCGs are now ready to venture out into their communities in Ugu and uThungulu Districts and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. The CCGs are now certified to educate, screen, and refer clients to appropriate service providers.

Dr. Roxana Rogers De Sole spoke on behalf of USAID and relayed that USAID and PEPFAR were pleased to see the roll out of the training and congratulated the CCGs for their achievement. She spoke of the benefit of integrated approaches to development and indicated that this training was an example of the power of effective partnerships between international donors such as PEPFAR and USAID, key implementation partners like BroadReach Healthcare, and the Government of South Africa and KZN.

US Consul General Taylor Ruggles echoed USAID's Rogers De Sole’s congratulatory message to CCGs and to the province for achieving a ground breaking model of integration. He added that as PEPFAR enters its 10th year of support to South Africa, the US government is committed to continuing to help turn the tide against HIV and is transitioning its approach from direct treatment support to capacity building and technical assistance. He lauded this innovative community based approach to health systems strengthening and looks forward to the provincial-wide roll out the program!

USAID and BroadReach Healthcare, together with the South African Government, are strengthening the health system from the ground up and equipping healthcare workers with the skills and resources needed to effectively address critical health concerns such as HIV/AIDS, as well as social ills in their communities.