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South Africa: KwaZulu-Natal Winning War against HIV/Aids and TB
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Friday, June 14, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 14, 2013

However in addition to the reduction in HIV prevalence, the MEC noted that they have achieved the following: A decline of the new HIV incidence from an estimated 1.3% in 2009 (nationally) to 1.1% in 2012 in compliance with United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 6 that calls on government to stop and begin to reverse the HIV and Aids scourge.
“Reduction in reported HIV and Aids related deaths from 67 429 in 2008/9 to 54 337 in 2010/11. HIV prevalence among 15 – 19 year old pregnant women decreased from 22% in 2009 to 16.8% in 2012 HIV prevalence among 20 – 24 year old pregnant women decreased from 37.2% in 2009 to 33.3% in 2012,” he said.
Dhlomo said by the end of March 2013 a total of 7 857 586 people received counselling, 6 832 992 were tested for HIV and of this total, 5 786 365 people were also screened for TB with 887, 688 referred for clinical diagnosis of TB. One million (±) received counselling but did not proceed to testing.
The Medical Research Council confirms that the tide is turning against HIV/Aids; it has found life expectancy to have risen to 60 years in 2011, up from 56.5 years in 2009 as fewer people died of AIDS.
Dhlomo was delivering the 2013-2014 Health Budget Speech before the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature in Pietermaritzburg. The total budget for 2013/14 is R28 647 877 000 billion
He said the total number of patients on Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy increased from 225 389 in 2008 to 705 024 currently, contributing just above a third of the country’s 1.9 million patients on ARVs.
Maternal Deaths
He revealed that maternal deaths have also decreased. “We are happy to say that there is an encouraging downward trend in maternal mortality. By the end of March 2013, a total of 317 maternal deaths were reported, a decrease of 46 compared to 2011.”
He ascribed this to the introduction of 38 specialized Obstetric Ambulances used for the transportation of pregnant women – a first for the country.
Neonatal Mortality
He said neonatal mortality has not changed and remains consistent around 14/1 000 live births, however the department is striving to reach the national target of 12/1000 by 2014. “Infant mortality has dropped from 40 in 2009 to 30 in 2011, having already exceeded the target of 36 for 2014. Similarly under-5 mortality has dropped from 56 in 2009 to 42 in 2011,” he said.
He also said the department has completed the 1st round of the campaign to immunize children against Measles and Polio. The target population was 1.2 million children and to date 89% of the target has been achieved.
Condom Distribution
In a final onslaught against the HIV/Aids pandemic the MEC said the department has distributed 84 million male condoms and 1 337 485 female condoms in 2012 alone. “For the current year, we plan to distribute 212 million male and 2.8 million female condoms as part of the prevention strategy,” he said.
He also announced that the province has acquired 38 GeneXpert machines. The GeneXpert machine is a cartridge-based, automated diagnostic test that diagnoses TB much faster (in no more than 2 hours) compared to several days or weeks using old methods. “This has greatly assisted in ensuring that 5 680 diagnosed MDR-TB patients and 832 XDR-TB were put on treatment during the period 2010 to 2012,” he said.
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