The Angels of Thembacare!

Yesterday I could see another project of our partners, the Thembalitsa foundation: „Thembacare“.

I will surely never forget this day, which was both shocking and impressing. Thembacare is a palliative station, which takes care for terminal ill persons, HIV positive people and tuberculosis patients in the townships.

Additionally, they take terminal care for seven in-patients. The waiting list for the beds is long, but the government supports only four beds with a non-sufficient contribution. More places with the high ongoing costs, are just not affordable.

I walked into the local township with two nurses, who are called there the angels. I received a clear guidance, stay close, no backpack which would attract desire and photos only to be taken with permission. Quite annoying considering the fact, that Capetown and vicinity ranks place nine amongst the most dangerous cities in the world, due to the townships.

Entering the officially called “informal settlement”, I experienced a shocking level of poverty and life conditions. The average income per person is less than two dollars a day, which makes Grabouw better than many other similar places. Being 60 kilometres out of Capetown, the farms around the city offer at least a seasonal income.

Together with the team, we walked eight kilometres through the township, visiting twelve seriously ill patients. Twenty per cent of the population are HIV positive. Tuberculosis or cancer are other frequent diseases. Thembalitsa is nursing almost 350 patients a week, with five teams.

It was just admirable, to see the nurses doing their vocation under those circumstances, bringing hope and dignity to people who really need it.

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Clear guidance: Stay close – the nurses are familiar with the people.

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Medication check, blood test, bookkeeping – the nurses are really conscientious!

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While the parents work on the farms, many kids stay alone or with neighbours the whole day!

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The „older“ ones are responsible both for the household and the younger brothers and sisters.

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Little boy, curious about the white man with the camera.

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Electric shocks are happening regularly…

 

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Saying goodbye.

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Leaving the township makes me both relieved and thoughtfully. We take things too often for granted!

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After the tour is before the tour – documentation and preparations for the next day.

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Thank you for taking me with you! Maybe our HOPE from PATRICIA can also give hope to the angels from Thembacare.

 

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