The team getting ready to leave
There’s a flurry of activity. Conversation rising up into the air as grass mats are folded and loaded into a helicopter. On the lawn, our staff is enthralled in activity mixed with occasional laughter and amusing banter- something very common at the clinic. Eventually, after all has been lifted into the chopper and our team ready to swoop into the sky, up and away (to a nearby community) they shuffle and huddle up for quick photos. On their matching t-shits, the organisation logo sits boldly; a glaring reminder that teamwork truly does make the dream work
On the 22nd of April, we collaborated with Mercy Air, a Christian mission aviation non-profit with a base in South Africa, to conduct two medical outreaches in the northern Lubombo communities of Shewula and Lomahasha. Mercy Air provided transport by helicopter for our medical team of 3 nurses and 2 medical assistants/HIV testing counsellors. We created make-shift consultation rooms using a gazebo divided into 4 and school tables we had borrowed. In those makeshift rooms we were able to provide clinic registration, nursing consultations, and access to pharmacy.
With the help of Mercy Air, our team greatly cut down on travel time, which would on a normal day be 5 hours up and down rocky dirt road but we managed to do so in under 30 minutes! (Yes, 30) and because of that, the medical team was able to care for, screen and assist more people. A total of 73 patients; 35 in Shewula and 38 in Lomahasha. We were able to provide consultation and treatment for HIV management, joint pain, allergies, hypertension, infections, scabies, and the common cold. We were also able to see many littles children as well as a number of elders who had come seeking medical attention.
We are super thankful to Mercy Air for allowing us to achieve so much; Providing outreach in two distant communities within the same day and returning to the clinic fresh with energy to spare.
WE are also thankful for all our supporters who help make HIV care and treatment available every day!