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South Africa: Gauteng Health Department's Efforts Pay Off
Source: SA - the Good News via SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Friday, May 24, 2013
Focus: Health
Country: South Africa
Created: May 24, 2013

“These 722,682 adults and children access ART at 364 sites that provide this service. This number increased from 600,284 people who accessed ART from 265 sites at the end of March 2012.
“In an effort to reduce the incidence of HIV, awareness and testing campaigns have been intensified in communities. At the end of March 2013, the HIV testing rate was at 92.9%,” the department’s spokesperson, Simon Zwane, said.
The department also noted continuing improvement in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission, with only 1.9% of babies born to HIV positive mothers testing positive at the age of six weeks.
Through the “Know your Status” campaign, Zwane added that the community was gradually becoming aware of the importance of antenatal early booking.
“The rate of antenatal visits before 20 weeks (gestation) increased from 34% to 37.3% in the quarter under review. This makes the department’s goal of reducing neonatal and maternal deaths achievable. An increase in the number of antenatal care clients initiated on AZT during antenatal visits has also been noted from 77% to 78.7%,” said Zwane.
At the end of the last financial year, 83.5% of patients on TB treatment were cured at the end of six months of treatment, an increase from 82% at the end of 2011/12.
Also in the same period, 49.6% HIV-TB co-infected patients were placed on ART. A reduction in the TB defaulter rate, from 7% in 2011/12 to 5.7%, was noted.
“During this period, efforts have been made to improve access to primary health care facilities. Currently, 26 out of 32 Community Health Care Centres offer 24 hour services and all of them provide maternity services,” Zwane said.
“All these efforts are as a result of the department’s Turnaround Strategy 2012-2014, which aims to improve health care in the province. The department will continue implementing initiatives to better the lives of the people of Gauteng.
“We are hopeful that the department’s efforts to improve the quality of health care will ensure an efficient and effective health system,” he said.
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