In October, Witkoppen Health and Welfare Centre partnered with Rotary to run the Family Health Day, for the third year in a row. The main objective of the days is community outreach to provide screening for communicable and non-communicable chronic diseases (including HIV, TB and diabetes) and health promotion and education.
The site for the Health Day this year was the Methodist Church in Diepsloot. An important lesson learned at the first year of partnering with Rotary for the Family Health Days was the importance of providing private areas for HIV testing and counselling and to organise the waiting patients so as to optimise patient confidentiality, to which end gazebos were set up in the church.
There was a very lively atmosphere and the church building protected patients and staff from the sun and with the large space, everyone was able to wait in comfort. Music was played and banners were set up to encourage people to come to the site.
All people who attended were pre-test counselled for HIV testing, and, unless they refused, were tested and given the results, along with post-test counselling. None of the 291 people given pre-test counselling refused to be tested. 49 of the people tested, were tested for the first time, and 14 were diagnosed positive (4.8%) and referred to Witkoppen or their closest Department of Health Clinic for care.
Everyone passed through the vitals station, where their vital signs (pulse, temperature, blood pressure etc) were recorded, as well as was screening for the symptoms of TB, and they were referred to the nurses for further attention advice or care, where indicated. 393 female patients were also screened for pregnancy, although none were positive.
The blood pressure of 287 people was recorded, to check for hypertension. 17 people were diagnosed with hypertension for the first time, and 16 known hypertensives were found to have high blood pressure. 5 people were discovered to have diabetes, and 2 known diabetics were given advice, and all were referred for follow up care and treatment.
144 children were given routine examinations, of whom 62 were given immunizations and 58 were weighed.
All people who were waiting to be seen were given health promotion talks and encouraged to make use of the medical facilities available to them.