The DTHF operates a fleet of five mobile clinics that have provided free one-stop integrated healthcare and counselling services to nearly 100 000 clients in the under-served environs of Cape Town. Mobile clinics bridge the gap between patients and conventional healthcare facilities for those living in under-resourced settings. The units offer a wellness package that includes HIV testing and screening for tuberculosis (TB) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Launched in 2008, the Tutu Tester was the prototype mobile clinic that takes sophisticated testing equipment and trained staff (including clinical nurse practitioners, counsellors and an educator) into communities in the greater Cape Town area. Though the focus is on HIV testing, clients seen on the Tutu Tester are also screened for hypertension, diabetes, obesity, TB and STis. By offering testing that is within reach of more South Africans and works outside of the traditional clinical setting, the Tutu Tester aims to promote disease prevention as a self-initiated activity.
Tutu Teen Truck
Adolescents and young adults are a key population group with the highest incidence of HIV in South Africa. The Tutu Teen Truck was launched in 2015 with the mission to normalise HIV, STI and TB testing, to encourage health-seeking behaviour and to promote physical wellbeing amongst youth in the Cape Town Metropolitan area. It does this by bringing accessible, free, efficient and youth-friendly health screening to young people in under-served communities including Philippi, Mfuleni, Dunoon, Langa, Delft and Ocean View. About 40% of young people who have visited the Tutu Teen Truck took their first HIV test on the truck. This is particularly important because awareness is the first step in overcoming HIV.
Tutu Kwik Test Trailers
Like the DTHF’s other mobile clinics, the Tutu Kwik Test Trailers seek to normalise HIV testing and provide free healthcare and counselling services to under-served communities in the Western Cape, with a particular emphasis on young people. Three Tutu Kwik Test Trailers were put into service in 2017, travelling to various communities and engaging with nearly 100 people a day. In addition to easily accessible sexual and reproductive health services, each counselling session has the benefit of tailored health-risk reduction.