VCT & ART Clinic
The Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) clinic was established in 2004, through funding from the Global Fund, via NERCHA. The clinic enables the hospital to provide HIV/AIDS programs that are in line with the National Policy. The doctors and nurses working in the clinic also make regular visits to some community health clinics around the Manzini region.
The ART clinic provides treatment for around 3500 clinets who live in the Manzini region. Each of these registered clients is required to attend the clinic once per month to receive their refill of ARV’s and, if they are eligible, their quota of World Food Programme (WFP) provisions.
The activities in the clinic follow a strict program:
- Monday & Thursday New patients are initiated into the treatment regime.
- Tuesday Health education activities.
- Wednesday Registered patients collect medication, WFP provisions and are examined by a doctor.
- Friday Reserved for medication refills.
- Clients that are sick are seen throughout the week.
It is important to track patients on ARVs to ensure they are adhering to their medication regime and nourishing themselves adequately. Regular blood samples are also required to ensure the effectiveness of treatment and to be able to adjust the doses of medication accordingly.
A key component of the National Health Strategy is the decentralization of services. Through the financial assistance of PEPFAR the decentralization of the VCT and ART services to the community clinics has commenced.