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South Africa: R3bn Boost for SA's Fight against HIV
Source: SA - the Good News via SAnews.gov.za
Source Date: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 06, 2013

Making the announcement during the 2nd SANAC Plenary Meeting at the Bafokeng Convention Centre in Rustenburg, Motlanthe said the additional funding will allow the country to expand its programmes for the treatment of Aids and TB, but also for the important work that government is doing to prevent new infections of HIV and TB.
“It’s the largest grant that we have ever received from the multi-sectoral donor in the history of our fight against Aids and TB,” said Motlanthe, who is the chairperson of SANAC.
Outlining how the money is going to be used, Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi said a large portion of the grant will be used for the fight against TB and HIV and Aids. “52% is going to the national Department of Health. The other amounts will go to other recipients like the NGOs Right to Care, National Religious Association for Social Development, and the National Aids Convention of South Africa, etc.”
Motsoaledi said the areas with the biggest concentration of TB in the country were Correctional Services facilities, where TB was the most common disease.
During World TB Day in March this year, Motlanthe unveiled the new diagnostic tool, GeneXpert, at Polsmoor Prison, which is now being given to correctional facilities.
He said since the period between March and August, in Polsmoor alone, 12,656 inmates were screened for TB; 2,327 were found suspicious and taken through the GeneXpert technology and 176 were finally diagnosed with TB. Eight of them were found to have Multiple Drug Resistant-TB and were all given treatment within 24 hours.
“With this money, we are going to be able to do it in all the correctional services facilities in the country … Every inmate will have to be screened and those [found to be] suspicious will be taken through GeneXpert. Those with TB will be put on treatment immediately. [We will] also follow their families, who will be visited and also be screened.
“[The money] will also help us to decentralised MDR treatment. We are going to do community based treatment, which will ensure that patients are treated in their communities ...”
After Correctional Services, officials will move to the mines. Over 100,000 miners in small mines will be screened. Follow-ups will also be done in big mines to check their compliance with TB treatment/prevention programmes.
Money will also be spent on various HIV programmes like the procurement of ARV medicines for 350,000 patients within the country, and on strengthening the central procurement unit to avoid the issue of drug stock out.
SANAC CEO Dr Fareed Abdullah said the grant will allow the country to tackle the causes of new infections in young women and also in high risk populations, such as sex workers.
During the meeting, it was noted that the country was making progress in achieving the global target, as set by the UN, of reducing HIV and Aids by 50% by 2015. The country has successfully rolled out its ARV treatment programme, with two million people receiving treatment – making it the largest treatment programme in the world.
The country is also in track of achieving the target of reduction and eliminating HIV transmission from mother to child by 2015. The transmission rate is now at 2.7%, down from 8% in 2008.
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