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In 1999, Rev. Fr. Stefan Hippler, then Chaplain of the German speaking Catholic Community in Cape Town, was approached by doctors of the Tygerberg Academic Health Complex to investigate a supportive solution for the care and treatment of HIV positive children. Extensive consultations together with Dr. Monika Esser, Head of Immunology at Tygerberg Hospital, led to the establishment of the first dedicated ward for the tertiary care of HIV positive children, the G7 Ithemba (Hope) Ward for Infectious Diseases.
The project was a joint effort between the German speaking Catholic Community, the Rotary Club of Signal Hill, the University of Stellenbosch (Faculty of Health Sciences) and the Tygerberg Academic Health Complex. The official opening of the Ithemba Ward and simultaneously the launch of HOPE Cape Town - HIV Outreach Programme and Education as a registered non-profit organisation (NPO) took place on 29 October 2001.
The organisation’s purpose is to directly address the HIV and AIDS pandemic by providing access to education, treatment and on-going support within the existing provincial and municipal health structures. HOPE Cape Town facilitates and assists with the care and treatment of HIV-infected children and adolescents on the Ithemba Ward as well as with the support of the patients’ mothers and caretakers. HOPE Cape Town provides food, toys, books, toiletries and clothes donated by individuals and companies, and assists with ward renovations and special events or parties for the children.
HOPE Cape Town Association also trains and places a network of 23 community health workers in 18 selected clinics in low-income communities to provide current HIV, AIDS and TB knowledge, counselling and support for clients, assist with treatment regime adherence and home visits at the primary health care level. In this way, HOPE Cape Town contributes towards building a stronger support structure for the poor and marginalized.
In 2003, HOPE Cape Town took the singular initiative to include traditional healers (Sangomas) into the project portfolio, based on the belief that all levels of community leadership and expertise are essential for successful HIV, AIDS and TB outreach. Within the trial communities, the HOPE Community Health Worker and the Sangoma liaise to provide coordinated services to clients exploring traditional options and clinic treatment. Phase II of this unique pilot project started in January 2008.
In addition, HOPE Cape Town offers short-term HIV and AIDS awareness training to local organisations and companies, as well as to schools. An eLearning initiative to facilitate the ongoing training of the HOPE Community Health Workers in an efficient way with novel skills development has been established in September 2009.
In cooperation with the local NGO Harvest of Hope and the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Germany, HOPE Cape Town has launched a project on nutritional support for HIV positive moms and their babies in Delft since March 2010.
HOPE Cape Town also cooperates with KID-CRU, the Tygerberg Hospital research unit for paediatric infectious diseases. A joint elective student programme offered by HOPE Cape Town and KID-CRU has been running successfully since early 2008.
One of HOPE Cape Town’s founding principles is to use and optimise existing structures within the municipal and provincial health sector. As strong partners of the Departments of Health of the City of Cape Town and the Provincial administration, HOPE Cape Town still maintains its independence and ability to exert pressure from outside, as it does not rely on South African Government funding.
Operates in: Cape Town, Western Cape
Established in: October 2001
Non-Profit Organisation Number: 031-599
Public Benefit Organisation Number: 130004709
Section 21 Company Number:
Contact person: Kerstin Behlau
Phone: 021 938 9930
Fax: 021 938 6662
Physical address: Stellenbosch University - Tygerberg Campus, Clinical Building, 7th floor, Francie van Zijl Drive, Parow
Postal address: P O Box 19145, Tygerberg, 7505
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