On a cold Wednesday morning, a group of health care workers huddle together outside the community clinic in Hangberg. They pull their jerseys closer as the wind howls, fasten their COVID-19 masks to make sure they are secure, and begin planning their visits for the day.
‘Basically, we provide home-based health care services for elderly people in Hangberg,’ explains Kaylin Wagner, health care worker for TB/HIV Care, a non-profit working within the community. ‘A lot of elderly people can’t get to clinics or hospitals, so we make home visits to supply medication, change dressings, provide advice on treatment, and really just support people as best as we can.’
The TB/HIV Care team of 22 health care workers each visit up to eight patients a day. They explain that the need is enormous – many elderly live alone without people to care for them, in poor conditions without basic necessities, and often don’t receive the personal love and support they need to live a full life.
‘You have to have a passion for this kind of work,’ continues Kaylin. ‘Even though it’s difficult at times, I believe that challenges are put in our path for a reason and we are here to be of service to those around us. The elderly have so much experience, so many stories, but they are so vulnerable. We just want to give back to them, to make their lives better in some way.’
In addition to their daily health care work, every Friday the TB/HIV Care team also provides meals for the elderly and others in need. Using the fresh, organic vegetables provided by Love in a Bowl, along with contributions from other supporters, their cook-ups fill the bellies of 90-130 hungry people every week.
‘Love in a Bowl is just amazing,’ comments Kaylin. ‘Vegetables are so expensive and it’s difficult to provide healthy meals. Their vegetables are beautiful and they make a big difference to so many people. But it’s more than that – it’s a reminder that we are all unique and we can contribute to building a better community in different ways. It’s wonderful to have this kind of love and support in the community.’
If you would like to support the TB/HIV Care team with their weekly cook-ups, contact Kaylin Wagner at 072-844-9955.