U.S. Embassy Pretoria Celebrates Mandela Day at Zola Community Health Center in Soweto

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires David Young with volunteers from the U.S. Embassy, Zola CHC, and Zola community

Press Release
Embassy of the United States
877 Pretorius Street, Arcadia, Pretoria
July 19, 2019

To honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy of public service, a team of more than 30 volunteers from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria spent Thursday at the Zola Community Health Center (CHC) in Soweto.  The team of American and South African Embassy staff rolled up their sleeves and spent about 67 minutes (plus a few more hours) painting a children’s playhouse, the patient admissions waiting area, and the antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence club space, as well as planting flowers that will bloom for years to come.

Zola CHC provides quality health care services to the residents of Zola and surrounding areas in Soweto.  It is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to provide lifesaving treatment to 7,500 people living with HIV, including diagnosing new infections, linking people to care, and ensuring people remain on their treatment through adherence clubs and other support groups.  The facility also offers HIV prevention services, such as voluntary medical male circumcisions, education and counseling.

Through PEPFAR’s DREAMS program, Zola CHC has expanded access to health services for adolescent girls and young women.  DREAMS stands for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe young women.  The facility also has a dedicated “youth zone,” with consolidated, comprehensive adolescent health services under one roof and maintains a post-violence care unit, which offers post-exposure prophylaxis and post-rape services for victims of gender-based and sexual violence.

Through PEPFAR, Americans have partnered with South Africans since 2004 and invested more than R80 billion to support South Africa’s HIV response and accelerate progress towards epidemic control through HIV prevention, care, and treatment.  The United States remains deeply committed to the people of South Africa through our PEPFAR support.

Like people across South Africa and the world, the U.S. Mission team continues to be inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy, on July 18 and every day.  We welcomed this opportunity to partner with the dedicated professionals at Zola CHC and residents of the Zola neighborhood to support such an important community resource.