Matthew Goniwe Clinic: Case study!!
On the 16 October 2014, TAC Masimanyane branch and different stake holders organised a successful protest to communicate serious problems experienced by Makhaza community.
Background and the timeline:
On the 04 May 2014 20 patients complained about the early closure of the pharmacy at the clinic and when the clinic was supposed to close they refused to leave the facility. TAC educator (Sonia Tombe) at the clinic also participated in the protest and demanded that the patients to get their treatments fortunately Dr Tony Hockwridge (Director of Khayelitsha health in the sub district) and Dr Virgiania Azveado (Sub district manager for health under City of Cape Town) intervened and arranged that the patients get the treatment at Khayelitsha District Hospital.
On the 15 May 2014 our educator at the site organised a meeting with facility manager Ms Nyaba and the clinic committee to resolve the problems. Promises in the meeting were made but unfortunately little difference was seen at the clinic.
On the 18 June 2014 the Masimanyane branch members decided to do formal interviews with all the patients who had the contact with the clinic. These were formal interviews because every complained was recorded and some of the patients were keen to come forward to testify.
On the 21 July 2014 the branch members with Sonia went again to complain about the poor progress but the facility manager responded that they still working on the issues.
Somewhere in September the facility manager was removed by City of Cape Town and redeployed to another clinic called Mayenzeke clinic. We were never informed about the reasons for the redeployment of the facility manager and we never asked but we thought that it had everything to do with our grievances.
The branch sec convened a big meeting and discussed into detail the problems of the clinic and the testimonials collected about the problems of the clinic.
On the 01 October 2014 the branch sec decided to have a meeting with ward councillor and the clinic committee to inform that they were organising a protest in a form of march to the clinic to hand over the memorandum to the facility manager and to the City of Cape Town Health authorities. Both the ward councillor and the clinic committee endorsed their event and were pleased with collection of information by the branch members and the educator at the site.
On the 07 October 2014, Dr Virginia Azveado requested a meeting to meet the leadership of TAC and at the meeting she pleaded to TAC to cancel the march but the TAC leadership rejected the notion and made it clear to her that this will be the first of many.
On the week of 13 October 2014 the branch members started with a serious mobilisation strategy in the Makhaza community. This included door to door campaigns, putting up of posters, visiting the local radio station to announce the event, announcing the event in local meetings and use the loud hailer at night to mobilise the community.
The march on 16 October 2014
Today, 16 October 2014, TAC Masimanyane branch held a protest march were 500 people attended the march including the ward councillor, Makhaza community, SANCO, clinic committee and other organisations. The programme reflected different speakers including ward councillor, TAC, SANCO, clinic committee and the Patient form the facility.
The new clinic manager Ms Nolubabalo Fakela with Dr Virginia Azveado accepted the Memorandum and promised that they will do anything in their power to resolve the problem.
The media both electronic and news print came in large number to cover the event.
Latest information about Matthew Goniwe Clinic from Sonia Tombe on 21 October 2014:
- The Department of Health has hired 2 more clerks to deal with problems at the reception in Matthew Goniwe clinic.
- The Department of Health have fixed the computers at Matthew Goniwe clinic.
- TAC has been invited to attend a meeting once a month (every month) with Facility Manager, ward councillor and clinic committee.
- The staff members have acknowledged the impact of the march and appreciated to Sonia the role TAC played.
- Issues like wearing of name tags and the hygiene of the clinic & toilets were dealt with immediately by the city of Cape Town management.
These are the gains that TAC Makhaza has made to ensure that the community of Makhaza is getting quality health service. We all believe in people’s power.