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Monday, 20 May 2024

Students put their health first

HEALTH RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES: HIV/AIDS Unit and partners recently wrapped up the First Things First campaign. HEALTH RISK REDUCTION STRATEGIES: HIV/AIDS Unit and partners recently wrapped up the First Things First campaign.

The HIV/AIDS Unit, in collaboration with partners, KeReady, NORSA, WITS Reproductive Health Institute (RHI), and TB HIV Care, recently wrapped up the First Things First campaign, which was launched in February.

The First Things First project is a Higher Health-funded campaign that has been around for more than 15 years, and it’s one of the most successful Mobile Wellness health screening campaigns at CPUT, according to HIV/AIDS Unit Head, Melanie Swanson. This campaign goes out to mobilise the students in their numbers to put their health first and know their health status. “These services include HIV screening (getting to know their HIV status), blood pressure screening, blood glucose screening, sexually transmitted infections screening and many more,” Swanson remarked.

KeReady provided COVID-19 and Flu vaccines across campuses. The teams made their way to all CPUT campuses. They extended their reach to CPUT-owned and leased residences across these campuses, reaching students after class and in the evenings. Contraceptive and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services were included in this campaign. Over 3 500 students participated in this campaign, and “we want to thank every student who participated, in particular our student leadership who always stand behind us with their support,” she said.

During this campaign, the teams demonstrated a remarkable commitment to student health and wellness. They did more than just provide healthcare services, they also taught students about health risk reduction strategies. Other services offered through Campus Health include access to chronic medication such as antiretroviral treatment.

“Remember, when living with HIV infection, you must be on antiretroviral treatment for life. Should you experience any difficulty in this area, visit your nearest Campus Clinic regarding your treatment or Student Counselling for emotional support. Living with HIV infection is like any other chronic condition that is manageable and treatable. By combining healthcare services with education and awareness-raising initiatives, the FTF campaign aimed to address health needs and created a lasting impact on the student community's overall wellness.”

The main goal of the FTF campaign is to promote proactive healthcare behaviours and empower students to take charge of their health. By offering a wide range of health services, the campaign aimed to foster a culture of health consciousness and encourage students to prioritise their well-being. To avoid unplanned pregnancies, students are advised to visit their nearest campus clinic for free contraceptive services. These dedicated teams will make their way back to the campuses and residences during the second semester.

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Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za