Sizophila Therapeutic Counseling Project
Country of Operation
- Desmond Tutu HIV FoundationNot-for-profit
- Hannan Crusaid Treatment CenterGovernment
- Provincial AIDS DirectorateGovernment
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
SummaryThe Sizophila Therapeutic Counseling Project provides Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) to more than 3000 people in the Nyanga District. The project was created to address the need for a strategy to ensure ART adherence and trained health care personnel in large clinics.
Key program components
The Sizophila Project provides training to unemployed people from the community living with HIV and employs them as Therapeutic Counselors (TCs). The TCs conduct one-on-one counseling, education and support (including home-based support) to persons that have been diagnosed by the Hannan Crusaid Centre, where the project is based.
Each patient is assigned a TC and support is given to the patient by means of on-going mentorship through home visitations. These assignments are geographical which minimizes the area TCs have to travel to visit patients. The project addresses the number of areas within ART provision that have specific needs. These are patients that include:
Adolescent and pediatric patients
Co-infected TB patients
Pregnant women with advanced HIV
Sick non-ambulatory patients
Mentally ill patients and general poor adherers
The partnership between the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, the Hannan-Crusaid Centre and the Provincial AIDS Directorate maintain the effectiveness of the Sizophila Project's service delivery. Presently there are 25 TCs that oversee 100 patients each in the Guguletu area. Their assistance significantly takes the pressure off the doctor and professional health staff at the Hannan-Crusaid Centre.
They conducted a study involving the first 1000 patients involved in the project. After 32 months, 96% of patients were still on the first-line regimen drugs, and showed no need to switch to second-line regimen. Maintaining 96% of patients on first-line regimens is more cost effective, as second regimens are more expensive, and illustrates Sizophila's effectiveness in stabilising the health of its patients.
TCs are employed at a monthly remuneration range of R1,800 per month for junior counselors and R2,000 per month for more senior counselors. The Sizophila Project ensures ART adherence and this success subsequently has an affect on individual health promoting patient employability and the maintenance of patient's household income.