Creative Work

October 30, 2020

Reading of book extract: “Get Up! Pick Up Your Mat and Toyi-Toyi”- A Country Living with HIV

Hermann Reuter

TB and HIV are the top causes for mortality in South Africa, taking people’s breath away. As a doctor, I was inspired by the Treatment Action Campaign, to overhaul our expired approach to TB care and spearheaded nurse-managed ARV care that inspired my service users. This breath-taking memoir will inspire you.

“GET UP! PICK UP YOUR MAT AND TOYI-TOYI.” is a moving account of a person aware of the inequalities of racism, poverty and the HIV/AIDS/TB pandemic in South Africa. He became involved in grassroots political and health service movements whose strategies were to inform and mobilise the people most affected facilitating agency of those who have been ignored, giving them a voice in the shaping of their own destiny. This narrative of the struggle for ARVs is embedded in the author’s personal story, his struggle with depression.

It should be compulsory reading for all health workers. The book documents an important period in medical and struggle history.”

Abbreviated review by Dawn Garisch, doctor, author and founder of the Life Righting Collective.

This recording provides sneak readings of extracts by the author, Hermann Reuter, introduced by Dawn Garish and comments by Sindiswa Godwana, who started ARVs 16 years ago.

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Hermann Themba Reuter

About Hermann Reuter

Born 1968 in Windhoek, Namibia Academic Qualifications: MBChB (1991), Higher Diploma Education (1998), PGDip Addiction Care (2017) Work experience:
  • Doctor in public sector for seven years (Namibia and South Africa)
  •  Provincial coordinator of Treatment Action Campaign
  • Doctor with Doctors Without Borders – MSF for ten years (Khayelitsha, Lusikisiki, Swaziland)
  • HIV-TB coordinator of John Hopkins University’s HIV program for two years (Ethiopia)
    • Mainly providing HIV & TB program development, clinical care, training and advocacy
Presently and past five years:
  • Community Based Education Coordinator of UCT in the Garden Route
    • Training medical students on rural platform
    • Coordinating SAHARA – Smoking & Alcohol Harms Alleviation & Rehabilitation Association
    • Providing treatment for people with substance use disorder (tobacco, alcohol and drugs)
    • Advocating for medicine assisted therapy for substance use disorder
    • Advocating for Department of Health to provide smoking cessation medication, naltrexone and OST