Men’s Health Services launched in Fisantekraal

CAPE TOWN - The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo, along with senior officials from the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness, academics, researchers, community leaders and leadership from the Northern Tygerberg Department of Health Sub-Structure (NTSS), inaugurated the Fisantekraal Community Day Centre. The highlight of this event was the launch of the Fisantekraal Men's Clinic in response to the community's request for  dedicated men's health services.

Mr. Alfonso Patientia, the Primary Healthcare Manager, expressed delight during the opening, stating, “Today marks the official launch of the facility and the men’s health clinic. As a department, we acknowledge our previous focus on women and children, recognizing the need for increased support for men. The men's clinic idea stemmed from the facility manager's observation that only women and girls were accessing the clinic making it difficult to address the problem of HIV and teenage pregnancy among girls in the community.

“When the idea came, I first approached  UWC for space but when I heard that Anova has a men’s programme, I decided to open a men’s clinic and approached the Sub-structure  which has been supportive to this day”.- Mr Makamba,  facility manager-Fisantekraal Community Day Centre (CDC).

Anova partners with the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness in implementing the HIV epidemic response under the Accelerated Programme Achievement for Controlling the Epidemic (APACE) program. The Anova Health4Men programme was established to address  biomedical and psychosocial needs of men. The programme is collaborating with the Western Cape department of health to expand male-friendly clinics in the Cape Metro.

Dr. Qondisa Qina, Programme Manager for Anova APACE Western Cape, emphasized, “Our goal remains focused on achieving the 95-95-95 targets, ensuring men are tested, treated, and achieve viral suppression. Overcoming socio-structural barriers preventing men from clinic visits is crucial to closing the gap in HIV care and achieving the goal of ending the epidemic by 2030.”.  Anova’s Head of Department for Western Cape Dr Nelis  Grobbelaar expressed  Anova’s renewed continuous  commitment to work with Department of health and urged delegates to make sure all categories of men are covered including Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) and other marginalised groups of men.

The Minister of Health and Wellness encouraged men to utilize the clinic's services and take charge of their health. She emphasized the need for healthcare staff to prioritize men and urged nurses to prioritize mental health services, as this is a challenge among men. Various community stakeholders also voiced their support, with Professor Firdouza Waggie from UWC pledging to prioritize men's health as a top research agenda for the UWC Faculty of Community Health Sciences.

The decision to establish a men’s clinic is hailed as a significant step towards achieving universal health coverage among men. The Fisantekraal Men’s clinic will offer comprehensive Primary Health Care services, including HIV testing.

The Fisantekraal Men’s clinic is the first Anova Health4Men supported men’s clinic in the Western Cape, joining other men’s clinics in the province, such as Kuyasa and Siseko.

Health4Men is a program of Anova funded by USAID/PEPFAR through the APACE grant. Views expressed in this article represent those of Anova and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, PEPFAR, the US government, or the Western Cape government.

For more information about Anova Men's Health Program, contact Mr. Beloved Manasidze, Technical Specialist for Men's Health, at 011-581-5000 or email at manasidzeb@anovahealth.co.za  or Lebogang Makokoana at makokoanale@anovahealth.co.za

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