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WhizzKids United Health AcademyThe WhizzKids United Health Academy is the long-term component of the programme which gives the behavioural interventions sustainability. Opened on June 1st, 2010, our health centre is located in front of the Edendale Hospital. It is a holistic adolescent-friendly healthy facility operated in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. The Health Academy offers a full range of sexual health services including HIV Counselling and Testing, an Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support and feeding scheme, one-on-one sexual health counseling, psychological support for HIV positive youth and sexual assault crisis referral. In addition, our health centre also features antiretroviral treatment (ART) as well. Alongside health services, the Health Academy also provides many recreational activities, academic support groups and our very own Mixed Gender Football League. In our first year of operation, we have experienced great success. Over 8,000 beneficiaries have registered at the Health Academy while over 1,000 people have received HIV Counselling and Treatment. Our site has been the location for special events, such as our proudly own Mixed Gender League, and attended by special guests such as the ABSA Premiership club Maritzburg United. The WhizzKids United Health Academy is also the recipient of tremendous assistance from FIFA. In turn, FIFA will support us in creating a building extension and an Astroturf pitch for the facility that will open for the community of Edendale in 2012. The WhizzKids United Health Academy model presents an exciting opportunity for cooperation between Africaid and government health structures. Africaid and the Department of Health looks forward to replicating the Health Academy model in other communities in the near future. In communities where we do not have a Health Academy, we run a "Clinic Liaison" programme designed to make health and counselling services at existing clinics more adolescent-friendly. This is achieved by offering capacity building and training to clinic staff and by developing a cooperative relationship between clinics and schools.
As a result of the services offered and available resources, the WhizzKids United Health Academy will:
- Bring long-term sustainability to the other WhizzKids United programme components
- Address a gap in health service delivery targeting adolescents
- Provides a holistic range of services free of charge in an adolescent-friendly, non-judgmental environment
- Give kids a venue of which they can take ownership and see it as 'their place'
- Allow kids to access health services without the stigma attached to attending a "clinic"
- Demonstrate to youth that the community is interested in addressing their health needs
- Increase youth uptake of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT)
- Increase antiretroviral (ARV) coverage of HIV-infected adolescents