Dean had a meeting with one of the Sisters at the Govt clinic in Nomzamo (opposite CNP) this morning to talk about the TB epidemic which is sweeping through CNP. We've agreed to organise a TB awareness day in the community and to involve as many other agencies as we can to assist with the day. We're planning for this to coincide with World TB Day on 24 March.
The national statistics for recovery of TB patients across SA is 85%, however in the Helderberg Basin the recovery rate is 56% and Chris Nissen Park is almost single-handedly responsible for this dramatic reduction in recovery rates. One of the major problems in the community is the failure of residents to complete their medication. This results in the TB manifesting again, only this time the TB is resistant to the medication. One of the problems in this area is the Rasta's, they are well meaning and try to get residents to take herbs to cure the TB which sadly is completely inadequate. The community also have a hang up about going to Nomzamo which is a Black community and CNP residents would rather walk to Somerset West. However, SW clinic is over 5km's away whilst Nomzamo clinic is less than 1 kilometre. This reluctance is a deep-seated fear of the Blacks which is a throw-back to the apartheid era.
Dean spent a long time with Patrick and Aunty Kuku this afternoon. Patrick was very tearful and eventually said he was leaving CNP to go and stay with his sisters in the Eastern Cape. However, Aunty Kuku would not go with him to his sisters. We don't know what has happened in their home to precipitate Patrick's wish to move but we feel this would be a very negative move for him and the family. Aunty Kuku said a while ago just after Patrick's stroke that she felt she had lost her husband and gained an infant as she has to do everything for him. Please pray for Patrick and Aunty Kuku, pray that they would make the right decision for them as a family and for Patrick to receive the best care possible.
Paula had another excellent mums and tots cell group yesterday. This time there were 13 women, 8 of whom were from either CNP or Nomzamo. This is thrilling and it is such a privilege to meet with and befriend these ladies and their children. It is also wonderful to have such a dedicated team looking after the kids and giving mum a break for an hour. Yesterday we talked about the death of Jesus and what that means for us. This was quite a challenge with 3 different languages represented, but Paula is just praying that the Holy Spirit will work and bring understanding into people's hearts. Already the needs that people are sharing run very deep. Just yesterday, someone asked for prayer because her 2 weekly groceries had been stolen in the bus on the way home. Another woman said that her brother had just 'dumped' his 2 year old boy on her doorstep for her to look after from now on. She is pregnant and can barely afford to feed her own household! Another woman shared about the difficulties she is having with her health as a result of HIV. It really is on the edge stuff and we are praying that God would use this group of women to really bless one another and for true friendships to form.
Dean's Bible Study also went well on Thurs morning with three CNP men turning out for it. This is a slow process but please pray for these guys that they would commit to coming.