Africa Unite through its Singamakhalipha program seeks to strengthen the capacity of parents with children at risk to build healthy, resilient, self –sufficient families and to raise awareness about the plight and the rights of the children at risk in the townships. Singamakhalipha works with close to two hundred Orphaned and vulnerable children in Gugulethu and Nyanga townships. Children within this programme are mainly from the informal settlements in Kanana and Europe areas rigged with high levels of poverty, poor sanitation and poor health services. In these communities diseases are easily spread because of the lack of knowledge on the prevention of the spread of diseases and the lack of proper housing and overcrowding. One of the most deadly disease that has become difficult to control in this area is TB.
As much as the communities lack information on the prevention of the spread of the disease, the medication given for the treatment of the disease does not make it any easier for infected individuals worse off children as they are high quantities of drugs taken over a lengthy period of time. Thus many patients give up on the treatment resulting in so often the situation drug resistant TB.
The community of Nyanga and Gugulethu especially Kanana and Europe are often forgotten and not involved in policy making and is often unaware of the developments within the Western Cape government worse off the national government. Africa Unite often takes the initiative to expose the community members to taking action issues that affect them and their children.
On the 24th of March Africa Unite mobilized community members from Nyanga and Gugulethu to join the march of 5000 people that started at Keizergracht to parliament facilitated by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).
The march was to demand accountability from the government on Drug Resistance TB.
• The availability of Multi drug TB treatment.
• Decentralization of XDR and MDR treatment/ care and services
• Better diagnostic tools for MDR & XDR patients
• TB in prisons (Better management of TB in prison)
• Access to multi drug TB treatment
The march was successful as many organisations came on board to show their solidarity in the need to fight TB and policies that allow the continuous loss of life through the infectious disease and Africa Unite will continue to support TAC in further action that will be taken to reduce the infections and loss of life. Improving health facilities and treatment is a human rights issue and hopefully one that will be made a priority by all stakeholders involved.
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