Community Health & Arts Trust (CHAT) No Longer Operational

B28 - copyrooklyn Chest Hospital – Music Therapy for TB Patients

Pygmalion was a founding sponsor of the Community Health and Arts Trust (CHAT). In 2007, CHAT in collaboration with the Music Therapy Community Clinic (MTCC), initiated a Music Therapy programme for TB patients at Brooklyn Chest Hospital (BCH). BCH is a referral hospital based in Cape Town for TB patients who require in-patient care, typically for up to 6 months duration. What is unique about BCH is that it also focusses on Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) and Extremely Drug Resistant (XDR) TB patients.

Due to challenges in securing on going funding as well as capacity constraints, CHAT was not able to continue, and has ceased to function.   The information and images that remain will hopefully serve as an inspiration for others who would be interested in our ideas about how the ARTS can support social development.

The brief History of CHAT

Pygmalion was a founding sponsor of the Community Health and Arts Trust (CHAT). In 2007, CHAT in collaboration with the Music Therapy Community Clinic (MTCC), initiated a Music Therapy programme for TB patients at Brooklyn Chest Hospital (BCH). BCH is a referral hospital based in Cape Town for TB patients who require in-patient care, typically for up to 6 months duration. What is unique about BCH is that it also focusses on Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) and Extremely Drug Resistant (XDR) TB patients.The Brooklyn Chest Hospital Programme

The Community Health and Arts Trust (CHAT) launched its pilot project at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital (BCH) on March 22nd 2007. The intent was to deliver ‘art as therapy’ in support of the existing in-patient and out-patient treatment programmes for patients at BCH – this included providing staff with necessary training/coaching in the support of music therapy goals, and provide an opportunity for artists to play a meaningful (and financially sustainable) role in social development. Dr M. Iqbal Survé (Chairman of the Sekunjalo Investment Group) and Sean Germond (Director of Pygmalion), and BHC Medical Superintendent Dr Moeti were guest speakers at the launch. Sunelle Fouche (MTCC) explained the value of music therapy in a TB treatment programme

The Community Health and Arts Trust (CHAT) was conceived by Dr Colin Jones towards the end of 2006 as part of an initiative to “re-establish the role of artists in social development”. The concept was further developed with Sean Germond (Pygmalion Management Consultants) and established in early 2007 as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to support the development of artists in the service of the community to the benefit of both sectors.

The idea was that CHAT could provide opportunity for skills and enterprise development of artists, and that it would liaise with the City and Provincial Health Departments and other appropriate public sector institutions to create opportunities at public health centres (Out-patients, clinics and day hospitals) and other community facilities to deliver artistic services to disadvantaged communities, Children at Risk and rehabilitating offenders.  From our research, we saw that there was a substantial community of artists, representing various artistic disciplines, who are not able to perform regularly. Many of these artists lack business and other entrepreneurial skills and subsequently are unable to support themselves and their dependents. There is a large audience, from disadvantaged communities, who regularly attend health facilities to receive treatment. They spend significant time at these facilities and could benefit from the aesthetic improvement of these facilities as well as the quality of stay during often lengthy in-patient treatment programmes.  We saw this as a Win Win scenario, but did not fully factor in a funding model beyond the inception stage.

Why TB, Why Brooklyn Chest Hospital?

Brooklyn Chest Hospital (BCH) is a Cape Town referral hospital specialising in the treatment of Tuberculosis patients, including Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) and the near untreatable strain of the disease or Extensively Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB). Despite the challenges of delivering Art as Therapy in an isolation hospital, BCH was chosen as a pilot site for the following reasons:

  • BCH is an ideal entity in terms of joint private-public sector collaboration to promote effective healthcare delivery and would benefit enormously from additional funding to improve the state of existing facilities, inadequate resources, the need for staff training and development and the enhancement of the existing in-patient treatment programmes and experience
  • The social stigma associated with TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB and the implications this had on patients, their immediate families and the surrounding community
  • The potential impact that Art as Therapy could have on treatment compliance (education and emotional support to cope with depression and anxiety), the quality of life during the lengthy (6 to 12 months and more) in-patient treatment programme (i.e., in support of the existing events programme that alleviates the boredom and isolation experienced by patients) and subsequent out-patient treatment programme (i.e., patients motivated to continue treatment)
  • The fact that Sekunjalo was already supporting BCH in terms of Information Technology infrastructure
The BCH Programme in 2007

CHAT’s Art as Therapy programme at BCH in 2007 has been delivered by our key partner on this project, the Music Therapy Community Clinic or MTCC (Director is Sunelle Fouché).

  • To deliver Music Therapy programmes to an initial group of TB patients (Children’s Ward B, Adult Females Ward D, and Adult MDR patients) and to evaluate the impact and effectiveness thereof before increasing the scope of the CHAT programme at BCH. This included training existing edu-care teachers so that they will be able to continue to run music groups with the children themselves, and collaborating with the occupational therapy programme.
  • To help patients and families to feel supported and welcome, thus enhancing the philosophy of care and the services endorsed by Brooklyn Chest Hospital.
  • To help reduce anxiety by providing positive distraction for patients and families, fostering a sense of control and access to social support.
  • To support the aesthetic improvements to the overall physical space of Brooklyn Chest Hospital, creating an ambience which is friendly to patients, families and staff.