On November 12th, 2013, longstanding USAID implementing partner, BroadReach Healthcare, handed over the extension to the Out Patient Department (OPD) unit at Tayler’s Bequest Hospital in Joe Gqabi District to the Eastern Cape Department of Health.
The Tayler’s Bequest handover was well attended by high level South African Government officials, the US Consul General to Cape Town, the Eastern Cape PEPFAR Provincial Liaison, traditional leaders, BroadReach Healthcare staff, and community members alike. More than 1,000 guests graced the event. All speakers sang the praises of this partnership between the South African Department of Health, the American government and implementing partner, BroadReach Healthcare, and in the words of the local municipality representative, “No amount of words can express our excitement and gratitude to the US Government and BroadReach Healthcare!”
Consul General to Cape Town Erica Barks-Ruggles spoke on behalf of the US Embassy and USAID, and reiterated the US Government’s support of PEPFAR. She explained that 4.2 billion US dollars (37billion Rands) have been given by the American people to the people of South Africa in the fight against HIV/AIDS over the past 9 years, and that the US is committed to keep fighting the disease together. She said, “It is my great pleasure to be a part of this facility handover. We are proud to be your partners and will keep at it until we have no HIV.”
Tayler’s Bequest Hospital is located in Mount Fletcher in the rural Elundini Sub-district of the Eastern Cape. Tayler’s Bequest also serves as the initiation site for all patients from Maclear hospital system which has a catchment population of 66,548. In 2009, it was a small, cramped facility with an inadequate number of consulting and counselling rooms, limited waiting area for patients, poor integration of services, lack of space for data capturing and storing patient records and an inadequate medicine store room. As a part of the infrastructure upgrade, an extension was built and forms part of the existing OPD and will allow for the integration of services.
The extensions to the hospital now includes:
- A patient waiting area with seating for 60 patients.
- Administration and patient records area where patient records can be kept and data captured.
- Seven consulting rooms, as well as a consulting room with a separate sputum collection area for improved infection control.
- Staff corridor that allows staff to move freely between consulting rooms.
- Pharmacy consisting of medicine store, office, counseling room, waiting area and dispensary.
- Three counseling rooms and one hospital coordinator’s office
- Improved infection control measures such as large windows and well ventilated common areas
- Design which improves patient flow and ‘pushes’ patients through the clinic in a logical fashion
- A disability / wheelchair friendly environment
The upgrade to this facility was made possible through approximately 6 million Rand in generous PEPFAR support. This facility upgrade is improving patient care and enabling those in need to access treatment conveniently and efficiently. It currently serves 1,070 adults and 80 children on ART. One patient from Tayler’s Bequest Hospital, Mrs. Fana, reports enthusiastically, “… I would dread having to collect my ARV treatment from Sterkspruit after my consultation 300km away in Mount Fletcher. Since Tayler’s Bequest’s pharmacy was unable to dispense treatment, I would have to wake up at 4am, pay for public transport and spend all day, in long queues, waiting to be assisted. Since the extension to Tayler’s Bequest Hospital Out-Patient Department (OPD) opened, I am now able to consult locally with doctors on duty without feeling rushed.”
Unlike many facilities in the Eastern Cape, the OPD does not suffer from drug stock outs. Sister Gqola, ARV Coordinator and Sister in Charge at the OPD extension proudly mentioned that she has never experienced a drug shortage at the facility since 2009 when she began working at the hospital. She acknowledged that this achievement is only possible due to forward planning of the pharmacist at the facility who even ensures there is enough medication available for the seasonal influx of patients. She thanked the US Government and BroadReach Healthcare for its continued support to ensure proper services are provided and in making patients proud to come to Tayler’s Bequest to receive treatment.
This infrastructure upgrade to Tayler’s Bequest Hospital is a tangible example of efforts by the South African government, Eastern Cape Department of Health, USAID/PEPFAR and BroadReach Healthcare to improve the treatment of HIV/AIDS and ensure the citizens of South Africa receive quality health care services.
Last updated: February 21, 2014