Health care and psychosocial support

OVCs   &  elderly  support

This project has been one of TASC's pride and joy. . . 

Below, Gogo Siphiwe and her grandson Siphesihle

    This project has seen community leaders getting passionate about the welfare of the elderly and vulnerable children because before this project was implemented, TASC counselors and educators met with community leadership to lobby and advocate for the support and care of the grandmother headed homesteads and orphan and vulnerable children under their care in selected in these rural communities. 

    This project serviced 6 mapped out communities namely; Phuzamoya, Ngculwini, Mhlabatsini, Manyovu, Nkamanzi and Ekudzeni. Each family and community was visited once a month and provided with care and support, the elderly and orphans were provided with food hampers which included items like sugar, beans, salt mealie meal, rice, and oil. Also included were medical and toiletries supplies, home based care supplies distributed were pair of gloves, sunlight bar, disposable nappies, Jik, Emollient, matches, tooth paste, tooth brushes and sanitary pads.

    During home visits, TASC counselors and psychologist further provide counseling, testing, medical and psychosocial support. Further, there was conducting of medical and psychological investigations on all the family members. For those clients presenting with minor illnesses such as the flue TASC nurse counselors provided medication, the psychologist conducted investigations on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the family members especially the elderly and children, this was done in the context of the environment in which they live to assess if it had a bearing on their well being. The psychological investigations consisted of an assessment of the interactions between the family members; however, these psychosocial interventions at family level were targeting mainly the children. 

    Therefore, the psychologist looked at the age of the children in relation to the intellect of the child and how that child responds to certain stimuli. She further looked at home environment in terms of socio-economic status level of exposure to things like television and interaction with other children which all plays a huge role the formation of the personality of the child. For those family members who needed psychosocial support were provided with counseling and again those who required specialized care were referred to other institutions for continuity of care. 

    These investigations were very helpful in that they provided TASC with information in making a profile of all the clients and they also gave the clients an opportunity to be monitored, supported, and cared for through out their journey to self acceptance and positive living.

Psychosocial  support  services  (PSS)

    TASC's ultimate goal is to provide holistic care for the clients; which includes treatment, for now TASC is able to manage common opportunistic infections to drop in clients and outreach clients as well as treat minor illness.

    The other part of our holistic care is of course Psychosocial support services. It  was established to help workers manage emotional stress during the response to an event and to deal with related personal, professional, and family issues. The primary objectives for the TASC psychosocial support unit are:

1. To provide psychosocial support counseling sessions (urban & rural outreach sites).

2. To conduct visits and counseling to 11 grandmothers in homesteads affected by HIV 

3. To teach life skills to Orphaned and vulnerable children in the community

4. To form support groups in the rural community outreach site and urban site

5. To provide psychosocial support to staff members

6. To provide psychosocial support to peer educators trained by TASC

    We counted the number of clients that were provided with psychosocial support both at the outreach communities and TASC urban centre; there were 60 in total (20 urban centre and 40 outreach communities). From the table we can deduce that 60% (n=36) of the clients seen were unemployed, that alone could be a stressful condition especially because the cost of living is for ever increasing. The table further shows that more women than men sought out psychosocial support activities as 85% (n=51) of the clients seen were female.

    Of the 60 clients, 21.67% (n=13) tested HIV positive, 53.33% (n=32) tested HIV negative and 25% (n=15) did not know their status. In most cases those clients who do not know their HIV status were referred for HTC after their counseling session is over, however, some clients require more than one counseling session to be ready to get tested.

Life skills to OVC

    In families where there are orphaned and vulnerable children, those children are taught life skills by the psychologist, however the psychologist usually find OVCs in Neighbourhood Care Points during the day where they receive meals and meet with other children. The children reached in the NCPs usually range between3years and 15 years.

            Method Used

-    Discussion

-    Brainstorming

-    Visual aids such as pictures and colors from a magazine used to demonstrate key points in Road Safety.


    At the end of each lesson, a short verbal evaluation of the lesson is conducted. Below are some of the results of the evaluation:

1. The children are of different ages. As a result, their level of intellectual intake differs. The older children learn more and the very little ones (about 3-4 years) just enjoy the activities and seeing the different colors. On some topics, children were separated according to their age groups.

2. The children indicated that they enjoyed the lessons and would love other lessons. This was also evident in the high level of participation. 

    Below are picture of TASC psychologist teaching about oral hygiene to children at a local NCP: 

PSS to Community Based Peer Educators 

    Psychosocial support to CBPEs took the form of de-briefing sessions where they shared experiences on some of the difficulties that they come across when doing their work. Case studies were also used, that each educator would share about a case that he/she found very challenging, share how he/she dealt with it and as a group reflect on it and find a possible way forward to the challenge. The case studies were conducted while still maintaining the anonymity of the client(s). These sessions were very successful and some interesting issues were raised. The peer educators enjoyed the sessions. The motivational component of the program seemed vital as the peer educators indicated signs of de-motivation thus the need for intervention to re-motivate them.

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