Sizophila Counselling Programme

SizophilaThe Hannan Crusaid Treatment Centre is situated at the Gugulethu CHC.  It is a primary health care ART programme which was established in 2002 by the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health with the assistance of a UK charity, Crusaid through a donation bequeathed by Katy Hannan.

From the start of the ART programme, the DTHF initiated an innovative adherence strategy called the Sizophila Project.  Sizophila which means “We shall Survive” in Xhosa, was started to provide education and support for patients on TB and ART through the provision of individual counselling, group training sessions and home visits.

This programme employs counsellors and community care workers most of whom are undergoing HIV treatment themselves. These lay workers are able to empathize with the fears and concerns of their patients and are living proof that the HIV and TB drugs do work.  The Sizophila counsellors were recruited and initially trained by the DTHF Training Department to provide the following services: treatment readiness assessments, treatment preparedness education and treatment support though conducting home visits.

The Sizophila model formed the basis of the adherence support system for the TB/ART integration project which was piloted at the Nyanga CHC. In 2011, this model was incorporated in the Western Cape policy document on Integrated TB/HIV Community Adherence Support.

In 2008 the Sizophila Counsellors were recognised for their outstanding work and received the Plantinum Impumelelo Award for their exceptional commitment and contribution to the community of Gugulethu.