Clinic rallies men in HIV/AIDS fight
MORIJA – NON-PROFIT health organisation, Jhpiego Clinic, has urged men to be more vigilant on health issues by visiting health centres to boost efforts to fight the twin scourges of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB).
Jhpiego Senior HIV/TB Programme and Clinical Officer, Makeneiloe Rampepe, made the call at a recent ceremony at the Khotla clinic in Morija where she also said the clinic would expand its services to men.
“We decided to expand the services we offer because we noticed that men refrain from visiting the doctor because they feel that it is time consuming and they are also not comfortable speaking to female medical practitioners about health issues,” Ms Rampepe said.
“We have realised the need for a medical clinic where men can come and feel comfortable to talk about their health issues and receive all their medical requirements.
“What mostly contributes to this is that 86 percent of health care providers are women; that is why we have 60 percent of the staff being men here at Khotla so that the clinic is a safe place for men.
We have also realised the need to advise men to be open with the partners about their health conditions and therefore encourage them bring their partners for medical advice. That is why we occasionally treat women and provide them with pre-exposure prophylaxis (a drug given to a HIV negative patient is that is at a high risk of being exposed to HIV/AIDS),” Ms Rampepe said.
For his part, Khotla’s Nurse in Charge, Tsotleho Maramane said their goal was to provide men with medical care that catered for all their needs in one clinic.
“We want to prevent them from being discouraged from seeking professional health care because of long ques and feeling embarrassed about talking to female doctors and nurses. We noticed that they trust men with their issues as they believe that the will have a clearer understanding.
“We also want to be flexible and provide health care to men that have demanding jobs by availing our services to them after hours,” he said, adding, since June 2016, the clinic attended to at least 1000 up from the previous 450 patients per month.