The Alexandra Men’s Clinic – the only one of its kind in Johannesburg has done the city of Johannesburg proud by scooping a runner-up prize in the innovative service delivery institutions category of the Centre for Public Service Innovation Awards.
The clinic, which specialises in men’s sexual health, was given the recognition for its innovative and excellent management of sexually transmitted illnesses (STIs) among men.
It was established in 2005 following the realisation that men attended sexual health facilities less frequently than women. It is situated on 8th Avenue in Alexandra and is open only on Wednesdays.
The deputy director of health services in the city, Vusi Mazibuko said the clinic had been of great assistance in curbing the spread of STIs in the area.
The clinic also caters for patients referred to it by other healthcare centres in the province. “A survey conducted in the area had established that men with sexually transmitted infections were generally not comfortable being treated by women nurses, choosing to live with the diseases instead. This resulted in the continued spread of the illnesses,” Mazibuko said.
He said the project had been tabled at the UN for its innovative service delivery and it had been successful in the first round and was waiting the second and final approval. Initially, women were the ones who made use of the clinic’s services.
In cases where a woman was treated for an STI, the clinic would ask her to bring along her partner, who invariably would decline, claiming there was nothing wrong with him. But the situation has since changed because the clinic is for men manned by male nurses and support staff.
Charles Ricketts, one of the nurses, said: “There has been a major increase in the number of patients.”
Mazibuko said there had been a noticeable increase in the number of youths with STIs, another success of the clinic.