News from the Mission
PEPFAR Funding Enhances Capacity and Capability of Jeppes Reef Home Based Care Center
Mission journalist Wandile Mavuso reports on progress at the center
March 1, 2012
Jeppes Reef Home Based Care is a non-profit organization established in 2004 and based in the Nkomazi municipality of Mpumalanga province in South Africa. It is staffed by about 20 care workers who have been trained in multiple areas on how to care and assist for the chronically and terminally ill patients in the community. Through daily home visits, its care workers assist patients with wound care, nutrition and HIV education, and escort them to the local clinic to obtain medication.
It also provides after school care for many of the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC's) in the community, providing them with a nutritious meal and the support they need to continue their education.
In 2010 the center received a grant from the U.S. Ambassador’s HIV/AIDS Community Grants program, funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The grant money was intended for garden tools so caregivers could participate in community garden projects. The funds were also to pay for training as well as badly needed care kits.
Center manager Margret Thabede, expressed gratitude and appreciation to the U.S. Embassy for the grant, “Before we received the grant, we could not visit bedridden patients, let alone provide them with basic medication and other necessities such as diapers, bandages and ointments,” she said. She stated that all the caregivers at the center now have accredited certificates for Home Based Care due to the training that they received through PEPFAR funding. Caregivers are now able to visit patients on a daily basis, where they bath, feed, and clean patients, as well as escort them to the clinic to obtain ARV and tuberculosis medication. During their rounds, caregivers conduct door-to-door visits to identify needy patients, with transport costs covered by the grant.
“I don’t even know what to say to the care givers at Jepees Reef for taking care of my wife Hluphekile who has been terminally ill since 2010”, were the words of Timothy about the support offered by the center.
Narrating the ordeal, Hluphekile’s care giver, Alice said that she started caring for Hluphekile early 2011. “She has been ill since 2010, such that she cannot speak anymore, bath herself, neither go to the toilet on her own”. Alice continued that had it not been for the grant that they received, she does not know what the state of affairs would be in the household.
Alice visits Hluphekile on a daily basis. She bathes, feeds, and cleans her, as well as monitors her intake of medication to ensure adherence to treatment. “There are quite a large number of terminally ill patients with chronic diseases and the grant money has really come in handy because we are now able to give quality care and support to the people of the community”, she said, emphasizing that the majority of those receiving these services do not have anybody to look after them, let alone bath and ensure that they take their medication as prescribed to eliminate the risk of drug resistance with regards to ARV’s and TB medication. Some 667 patients now receive assistance.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
The center currently provides daily meals, psychosocial & educational support to 256 Orphan and Vulnerable Children throughout Jeppes Reef.
Margret Thabede said a majority of the children that come to the centre for food are orphans of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and in most cases do not know where their next meal will come from. “Due to the grant we are able to provide food for these orphans through the garden scheme, as well as toys, transportation to clinics and school uniforms”, she said. She added that the centre also performs hygiene and health education for the children.
“If we had not received the grant from the Embassy I am convinced we would not be in the position that we are now in, of providing quality care services to our local community,” she said.