To mark World AIDS Day 2020, the Ritshidze project is launching a detailed report into the state of the public healthcare system in Gauteng. The report — based on the results of data collected through Ritshidze’s community-led monitoring — will be presented to the Gauteng Department of Health and other duty bearers at a community meeting in Soweto today.
The Ritshidze project today released a new website with resource toolkits on how it uses community-led monitoring to improve the quality of HIV and TB service delivery. Ritshidze — one of the most extensive community-led clinic monitoring systems — was developed by networks of People Living with HIV in South Africa to hold government and aid agencies to account to fix our broken public healthcare system.
During our Ritshidze training we gave communities the tools and techniques to monitor the quality of HIV, TB and other health services provided at clinics and quickly escalate problems to decision makers at clinic and district levels in order to advocate for change.
In September 2020 the Ritshidze Project held a community dialogue event in Daveyton to hear from patients themselves. This came as Ritshidze community monitors were increasingly hearing from patients about their challenges with medicine stockouts, being repeatedly given ‘short-scripts’, and not being communicated with about their medicines and treatments.
Thanks to community-led monitoring in South Africa, we now have the data to back up the stories we have all heard about – early morning queues that last all day long when clinics fail to open on time and then also close early, writes Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make the difference”, an idea that underpins a new model of community-led clinic monitoring in South Africa — “Ritshidze” has been developed by people living with HIV and activists to hold both the South African government and international donors accountable to improve overall HIV and TB service delivery.
Thakane is living with her only son in Welkom, South Africa. One day when she arrived at the clinic, she was told that her usual HIV medicines were out of stock. Instead she was given alternatives that were difficult to take and gave her many side effects. Watch her explain her story in this video.
“Ritshidze” — meaning “Saving Our Lives” in TshiVenda — has been developed by people living with HIV and activists to hold the South African government and aid agencies accountable to improve overall HIV and TB service delivery.
Partner organisations include the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPWA), Positive Action Campaign, Positive Women’s Network (PWN) and the South African Network of Religious Leaders Living with and affected by HIV/AIDS (SANERELA+)—in alliance with Health Global Access Project (Health GAP), the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.CLICK HERE to read more and see where we work.