By Kaya 959 News
The newly revamped Hillbrow Health Precinct has officially been opened and is expected to breathe new life into Johannesburg’s inner city.
The HHP is providing much-needed care to a previously marginalised population in Johannesburg and will also serve as a haven for residents to access HIV/AIDS and TB treatment. It will also provide maternal and child services in a safe environment.
The project was established through a partnership between the City of Jhb, the Gauteng Department of Health and the Wits Research Institute and is a visionary, world-first health precinct addressing HIV/AIDS and related diseases, poverty and urban renewal in the inner city.
Gauteng Premier David Makura, accompanied by Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi and Professor Helen Rees, were given a tour of the different service delivery points on Tuesday.
Some of the service delivery points include sex work, the transgender clinic that will provide HIV testing and counselling as well as the distribution of male and female condoms and oral pre-exposure prophylaxis.
Central to the fight against HIV/AIDS
The Gauteng Department of Health said in a statement that the mobile clinic sits comfortably next to the Hillbrow Community Health Centre.
The centre is a provincial secondary-level healthcare facility that provides 24-hour casualty services and minor theatre, polyclinic and outpatient services, psychology and dental care to residents of the inner city.
Makura said the Wits Research Institute has been central to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
“We are very interested in the impact of Covid-19 on HIV positive groups of the population. Our immediate priority is drawing on the lessons of our HIV/AIDS programme for the vaccine rollout programme,” he said.
He said the partnership between government, research, academia, civil society and Non-Governmental Organisations is going to be critical in the next battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, especially with the next phase of the vaccine roll-out programme, targeting those 60 and older, open for registrations.
Elderly urged to register
Makura said the province has a population of 1.3 million people who are 60 and older.
“So far, over 115 000 senior citizens have registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System or EVDS since it opened on Friday, April 16.
“A consolidated approach and working partnership with the Wits RHI will provide us with a comprehensive response against COVID-19. We want the translation of this research to help South Africa manufacture vaccines locally. We cannot depend entirely on the global north for manufacturing vaccines,” he said.
The elderly are still urged to register despite the country’s COVID-19 vaccine programme being halted. Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize took the decision to halt the country’s vaccination roll out voluntarily after six women in America reported blood clot abnormalities.
One of the women has since died. However, the medication regulator in SA, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, has said based on evidence studied, there is no data to show a similar impact on locals who have been inoculated.
As per the latest from the Gauteng Department of Health, the province has a cumulative total of just over 419 000 Covid-19 cases with 406 523 recoveries.
The province’s Covid-19-related death rate stands at 10 525.
The Department said a total of 1280 people are currently in hospital.