With innovative projects and clever reconceptualisation, Anova is changing how people access healthcare.
Anova’s Cape Winelands project is well known for its holistic spin on HIV care and treatment. By transforming clinics into Emporia of Care they are helping patients to view public health facilities not as a place of illness, but rather as a place of healing.
To promote co-operation and a sense of partnership between public health management and researchers, Anova hosts an annual meeting for researchers to come together at Sustainable Rural Health Research Day.
Researchers from various disciplines are invited to present the health research they are doing in the rural areas of the Western Cape. District, sub-district managers and health professionals are given an opportunity to meet the researchers to better understand the value of the work that is being conducted within their districts.
Anova’s Mopani team has a mobile health unit; a medical van that services remote rural communities. Whilst people in these settings may be willing to travel for treatment, they are less likely to make long journeys for health screenings—the routine check-ups during which health issues are usually first detected. The van provides comprehensive health information and screening, including HIV testing and direct determination of CD4 cell count, making it possible for people in rural areas to proactively manage their health.
One of Anova’s partners HIVSA is bringing basic health knowledge directly to individuals through mobile phone technology with its Hi4Life initiative. Through the free service, men and women can get targeted, trustworthy information about their sexual health and overall wellbeing as well as the health of their babies and children directly on their mobile phone.
Realising that their clients were seeking counsel and treatment from traditional healers One of Anovas projects, the Limpopo-based Family Free project, with financial support from Orange Babies, Netherlands, arranged a consultative meeting with traditional healers. The local chief gave his blessing and in May 2012, Family Free, along with a public healthcare official, met with over 90 healers from the region in Tickyline village. Since then, Family Free has developed good relations with the traditional community and includes them in their awareness campaigns and drives.
Anova addresses cutting edge and relevant health topics through regular conferences under its AIDS Priorities banner. These events allow for different stakeholders to connect in a holistic manner.
These meetings are designed to reach researchers, healthcare workers and heath service managers within the public health and present current research. These conferences give a platform for discussion and problem-solving.
mHealth is the new frontier of accessing and analysing health information.
Anova supports the DoH in getting some of their mHealth initiatves off the ground, training healthcare workers to be able to utilise and assist clients in using the technology. For example, most recently, Anova supported clinics with the new PMTCT app, MomConnect.
Mentoring is one of Anova’s critical focus areas, and in line with this and mobile technology, Anova together with tech experts, DiMagi, developed an app aimed nurse mentors.
The app enhances Anova’s mentoring process by allowing the mentor to tracking the mentee’s progress. It doubles as a tool to collect and analyse data. This app is currently being used in the three HSS districts; Cape Winelands, Johannesburg and Mopani in Limpopo.