All of the community health care volunteers in the Free State have been dismissed.
A lack of money is quoted as the reason. The Treatment Action Campaign’s provincial chairperson, Sello Mokhalipi, says volunteers’ services are crucial as they assist and counsel people who go to clinics to determine their HIV status.
“It all started when community health workers went for three months withouth their stipends. These people rely on that for survival, they don’t just do it out of passion but they also regard it as a job. These people are playing majore roles in our health facilities in terms of minimising longer queues,” he says.
Mokhalipi adds that these volunteers, who are paid R1 400 per month, do make a difference in people’s lives. He feels they should be regarded as employees with standard benefits and not mere volunteers.
Hundreds of volunteers marched to the Department of Health offices, at Bophelo House, in Bloemfontein, last week to submit a memorandum. HOD David Motau undertook that he will have a response by Tuesday.