HIV AIDS Care Centre

Background

In 2002 Dr Kgotso Ncholo and his then partner, Mr Thys Strydom established the Caritas Care Centre based in Spruitview, to service private medical aid patients as well as mine employees.  However, by 2005 Dr Ncholo recognised the desperate need among poorer communities for an HIV and Aids hospice centre and clinic and so, after buying out his partner, he opted to re-register the facility as a Section 21 company.  This enabled him to assist patients free of charge.

In 2008, Dr Ncholo registered the organisation as an NPO with the Department of Social Development and started a day-care centre for infected and affected children between the ages of three to six.

Current

The Khotso Caritas Hospital Centre currently provides:

  • A clinic, dispensing anti-retroviral drugs to HIV and Aids patients throughout Ekurhuleni;
  • A hospice facility for terminally ill patients.
    The hospice employs a total of 36 staff and Dr Ncholo is assisted by two part time doctors, a nursing staff of 14, four counsellors, four caregivers and 16 employees responsible for preparing meals, administration and maintenance duties.
  • A pre-school day care facility for children infected and/or affected by HIV and Aids.
    The children are collected from their caregivers every morning and returned every evening.  At the centre they are provided with anti-retroviral therapy, education and three meals a day.  The day care facility is available to children between the ages of three and six.  Even after they leave the day care their wellbeing is monitored and they continue to receive medical treatment.
  • An agricultural tunnel farm project.
    The tunnel farm project cultivates and sells vegetables to raise funds for the purchase of anti-retrovirals and other much-needed medication.  The vegetables are also used to feed the children and patients at the hospice.  The project was established in a joint partnership between Afrisun/Carnival City and DRD Gold) at a cost of R1 million.  31 Unemployed Ekurhuleni residents were employed to run the project.  While many of these have since found other jobs, some of the original staff have remained.

The future

Dr Ncholo has plans to open an orphanage for the children.

Challenges

Despite the good work being done by the Centre, it has been robbed several times in the past few weeks.  Children’s bedding, TV sets and even basic kitchen equipment has been stolen.  The Centre requires better basic security facilities in addition to replacing the goods that have been stolen.

Aids realities in the community

There are few projects more deserving of than the Khotso Caritas Care Centre.  They provide desperately needed medical care and compassion to needy communities.  At Afrisun and Carnival City we have long recognised that, while we can assist communities through investing financial resources, true upliftment is achieved by maintaining ongoing relationships with the communities and organisations we assist.  We remain committed to the Centre and Dr Ncholo’s mission namely to provide patients with good, quality, cost effective, intensive and yet basic healthcare that will encourage them to love life and remain part of mainstream communities.

  • HIV and Aids has left the community suffering from high rates of unemployment, dependency on social grants and backlogs in the provision of essential health services;
  • Children and the aged are paying the highest price.  Many children are orphaned from an early age and aged grand parents have to bear the burden of raising the children at a time in their lives when they themselves require care;
  • South Africa is one of only 12 countries that have failed to reduce child mortality since 1990, and our mortality data shows that 80% of child deaths in SA are under five years of age;
  • Health services are confronted by serious challenges of capacity, skills and efficiency and many sick patients are forced to travel long distances for medical assistance.