Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Student Health Clinic rolls out Antiretroviral treatment to students

BREAKTHROUGH: Acting Head of Department: Student Health, Andries Slinger, and the Clinical Nurse Practitioners who will soon be administering Antiretroviral treatment to students on the Bellville Campus Clinic. BREAKTHROUGH: Acting Head of Department: Student Health, Andries Slinger, and the Clinical Nurse Practitioners who will soon be administering Antiretroviral treatment to students on the Bellville Campus Clinic.

CPUT is set to become the first institution of higher education in the Western Cape, to provide Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) to students at campus level.

The Student Health Clinic on the Bellville Campus will be rolling out the ART programme to registered students in July. This comes after the adoption of Memorandum of Understanding between the Western Cape Department of Health, Northern/ Tygerberg Substructure and the University.

The initiative speaks to the Department of Health’s National Strategic Plan for HIV/ Aids/ STI/ TB of treating infections among the youth. According to the 2016 statistics, South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV/ Aids in the age group 15 to 49, which accounts for 17% of the population.

Clinical Nurse Practitioners, Avril Sampson and Gail Benjamin, successfully completed the Nurse Initiated Management of Antiretroviral Treatment course offered by the Health Department and Non-Governmental Organization, Kethimpilo. The department accredited the CPUT Student Health Clinic as a Decanting Site where Life-saving Antiretroviral Medications may be rolled out.

The ART Decanting Site will start its operations on 1 July 2019 at the Bellville Campus and will be expanded to all campuses in 2020.

According to the Acting Head of Department: Student Health, Andries Slinger, the programme is part of the Student Health Clinic’s Strategic Objectives to manage HIV/ AIDS at the institution. “The Student Health Clinic complies with the Statutory Regulations in terms of healthcare.”

Students from all campuses will participate in a highly structured support programme and access their treatment at Campus Clinic level.

“This Support Programme is aptly called ART Clubs, this initiative will ensure that the HIV Positive students are managed and cared for locally,” added Slinger. “They thus won’t miss out on class time due to waiting hours at off-site clinics, and adherence to the medication will thus improve.”

This additional service to students ensures that CPUT maintains the high quality of treatment offered and also seeks to change the face of HIV/ Aids at the university.

Written by Kwanele Butana

Email: butanak@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.