Medical Clinics and Outreach
Programme Objectives1. To improve permanency planning (esp. adoption and foster care) of orphaned & vulnerable children (OVC)
2. To reduce the number of children who are ill and pass away from preventable conditions in OVC
Bigshoes offers free specialist paediatric services to orphaned and vulnerable children. This service includes an office based clinic as well as off site clinics run in the community. The target group is orphaned and vulnerable children in children’s homes, foster care and private places of safety. These children have a need for medical care and the completion of medical reports to facilitate the permanency plan. In KZN there is also an outreach component that works with children in the community who do not have access to adequate HIV and TB testing facilities.
The programme provides the following activities:
- HIV testing
- Age estimations
- Performance of other investigations required for permanency planning
- Writing of medical reports for permanency planning
- Children’s homes audits
- Clinical HIV staging of infected children
- CD4 and viral load testing
- TB screening (Mantoux and CXR) where indicated
- Referral to HIV clinics for anti-retrovirals
- Referral to TB clinics for treatment
Bigshoes KZN offer Health Surveys to the children’s homes to assess the health status of the children living in the home, as well as assess the environmental aspects of the facility; the nutrition, hygiene and psycho-social aspects. The report they give the homes gives recommendations for development.
Over 2400 children are offered specialist paediatric services through Bigshoes annually!
The medical services Bigshoes provides facilitates local and international adoptions, foster care placements as well as the process of returning children to their extended families.
Our doctors are also aware of an increase in level of skills and knowledge in the careworkers and social workers who bring the children to the clinic. Through the relationship Bigshoes builds with carers, they are able to empower through sharing of knowledge and skills. This in turn has led to a decreased the number of preventable illnesses in the children’s homes, and community projects.