ORGANIC FOOD GARDEN GIVES NEW HOPE TO TUBERCULOSIS PATIENTS
A resounding ‘yes’ was the answer from Wellington School of Skills’ (WSOS) principal Graeme Cupido when asked to give a hand up to the over 80 drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB) patients in our beautiful Drakenstein Valley.
DRTB is more challenging to treat than ordinary TB because the strains resist the drugs used to treat regular TB. “Second line” TB drugs are used, which have many more severe side effects. Treatment duration is much longer, from 9 months to 2 years, and the pill burden can equate to 30 tablets per day which often also leads to poor treatment outcomes. In addition, malnutrition is linked to many patients defaulting on their treatment for various reasons.
In this Val de Vie Foundation-led initiative, the Western Cape Department of Health, NorSA Community Care, WSOS and Seed2Harvest joined hands to install a 330m2 organic food garden which will yield 180kg of nutritious vegetables per month. The vegetables will be cooked by the NorSA New Rest soup kitchen and delivered to critical areas, including the Brickfields community.
On 26 October, the newly planted organic food garden was commemorated at an event organised by the Wellington School of Skills Programme Committee. Special guests included Drakenstein Mayoral Committee members and Department of Health representatives. Guests were spoiled with delicious home baked treats by the WSOS chef’s school and entertained by the incredible voices of learners Amecia Williamson, Logan Phetine and teacher Mrs Ruby Josephs.
Then it was on to the ribbon cutting by Dr Guin Lourens, Nursing Manager of Val de Vie Evergreen and tree planting by Dr Rushaan Gaffoor from the Western Cape Department of Health.