Operation Gophelega

Operation Gophelega

Major Expansion of Wits RHI’s District Support Partnership Programme

Operation Gophelega, in sePedi meaning ‘Striving for Good Health’, is the name of Wits RHI’s new PEPFAR-funded district support programme for HIV and TB prevention, care and treatment. Following an application submitted in April, in early August Wits RHI received notification that our application was successful and that we are being asked to continue to support Tshwane, and in addition, to take over the CDC-funded support activities in Ekurhuleni! This is a huge vote of confidence from both PEPFAR and CDC, a great challenge for the successful Health Programmes Team that will result in a significant expansion in the CDC-funded team. It is also one of the largest awards ever received by Wits RHI and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits University.

For the past three-years Wits RHI has had a large team working in Tshwane Health District supporting and strengthening the HIV and TB services while also building the capacity of the DOH teams. Beginning in January 2022, the Wits RHI team will be implementing a new model of treatment and care support, but now we’ll be working in two of Gauteng’s Metros - Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, noting that the Ekurhuleni Metro is significantly larger than Tshwane. The new model of prevention, care and treatment support we’ll be implementing builds on our previous successes as a district support partner, the achievements of Team Tshwane over the past three-years and everything we learned from the pandemic about taking services to where people want to access them.

Of course, a new award and expansion into an entirely new district means that there will be additional employment opportunities. This is something we’re all excited about. In total, the Operation Gophelega team will be nearly 1100 of which nearly 700 of these will be new positions. The Operation Gophelega team with HR support have started the recruitment processes already. Within Wits RHI, we are firstly targeting staff from the Health Programmes, specifically those who have been affected by Section 189 processes that have impacted teams in Tshwane