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Bridging the Gap -

Grassroots to Science

Ithemba Ward

A report about the work of HOPE Cape Town at Tygerberg Hospital

The Tygerberg Children's Hospital is part of the Tygerberg Academic Health complex and is one of the hospitals working with HIV and AIDS patients. With the agreement of provincial authorities and the permission of the hospital, HOPE Cape Town Association was co-located in this facility in 2001. Among HIV and AIDS NGO's operating in South Africa, this close level partnership remains unique. The Hospital provides an office on the Ithemba ward, as well as training, consultation and storage space.

The HOPE (or “Ithemba” in Xhosa) ward has a total of 24 beds. The Ithemba ward is dedicated to children with infectious diseases. This term is used rather than HIV or AIDS in order to reduce the stigma attached to being placed in this ward. The children admitted to the ward stay for as little as a few hours to many months at a time. To provide comprehensive care and facilitate treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association enables care givers – mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings – to remain in the hospital with patients during their stay by providing basic food and sleeping facilities.

Visiting the Ithemba Ward:

Members of the German

Bundestag in 2003


HOPE Cape Town Association has assisted the Ithemba Ward to upgrade other facilities beyond the parameters of the hospital budget. Recent improvements include equipping the ward kitchen with a microwave, kettle and kitchen utensils, adding partitions around beds (much appreciated by older patients), stocking mattresses and linen for caregivers, arranging for a play room with toys, scheduling volunteers to read and play with patients, paying for HIV and AIDS training for nursing staff and incorporating wall decorations. The HOPE Cape Town office is always a friendly place to visit just down the hall.

Due to the renovation of the Children's Hospital the ward has found its new place on G10 since April 2014 and is now a high-tech intensive care unit. G7 has undergone major renovations is now a general ward and still hosts the office of HOPE Cape Town. From there, the HOPE to HOME project is coordinated.