The Robbie Nurock clinic on Buitenkant Street has been serving the Cape Town community for decades. Many of the SDR clients have attended the clinic over the years but the vast majority do not access this service. Some clients are nervous of government services, others are embarrassed about their condition and some don’t like waiting in a queue.
Staff at the clinic organised a HCT clinic day at SDR on Thursday 27 September to help our clients begin accessing some of the services that are offered by the Health Department and to encourage them to see this service as accessible and in their interests.
HCT or HIV Counselling and Testing is an important service which not only provides a free means of determining one’s HIV status but also the information and empowerment to take control of one’s health. It has been shown to be one of the most effective interventions in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
45 of our clients at SDR used the opportunity to get tested and speak with the volunteers and nursing staff who were on site. Almost all of these clients had not accessed clinic services before.
Also on hand were field workers from CCDI Social Development. They used the opportunity to engage our clients and encourage them to access the services available. The CCDI field workers provide an invaluable service to all of us in the city by their early intervention in situations that require diplomacy, care and street knowledge. Without them and the network of agencies and services they deploy appropriately, there would be many more people living on the streets, especially children.
We are looking forward to clinics being a regular feature of SDR life in the future! And we’re looking at other ways that SDR can partner with organisations working alongside those living and working on the streets of Cape Town.
Many thanks to the Robbie Nurock clinic staff and Health Department for this service.