ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

18 FEBRUARY 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Leadership Condemns The Theft of ARVS for Drug Use

Acting Chairperson of the eThekwini District AIDS Council, Deputy Mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala, applauded the arrest of a 38 year-old woman who was recently caught with R300 000 worth of antiretroviral drugs, which police believe she was planning to sell to drug dealers.

Shabalala said this during a recent eThekwini District AIDS Council meeting, which comprises of various departments from the Municipality, government departments, non-governmental organisations and civic organisations.

Shabalala said the theft of medication from clinics was counter-productive to the efforts made by government to ensure that all citizens had access to free health care services. “As activists of HIV/AIDS awareness we should not keep quiet when we see cases of this nature. We should picket and make our plight heard so that such things do not continue to happen,” Shabalala said.

At the meeting, the Municipality’s Health Unit presented a report on the 2015 statistics on health related issues. The findings were as follows:

Approximately 38 283 977 condoms were distributed at non-medical sites such as taxi ranks, hostels, night clubs, garages, hotels, malls and through nonprofit organisations.

Around 6 421 90 people were also tested for HIV/AIDS at various sites. 

Statistics for male medical circumcision were at a low of 22 580. This was attributed to the lack of interest in circumcision, particularly among older men. To mitigate this, an aggressive mobilisation campaign has been started at schools, tertiary institutions and through the media.

A total of 336 198 adults and children were receiving ARV treatment from government clinics by the end of December 2015. The implementation of chronic clubs for patients and the ART electronic patient information system have been instrumental in the timeous detection of defaulters.

By the end of 2015, expectant mothers who received antenatal care within the first 20 weeks of their pregnancy had improved to 65 percent. This assists with early detection and subsequent intervention where unborn babies and/or mothers are a health risk. 

Girls under the age of 18 who gave birth at public health care facilities stood at 3 209. As an intervention, the Municipality is currently working on turning clinics into youth friendly facilities so that the youth can access health facilities freely. School health teams, who provide health education at schools, are reinforcing the implementation of dual protection which us condoms, family planning methods and medical male circumcision.

Maternal deaths at public health care facilities were recorded at 30. There were 988 infant deaths with these mainly attributed to prematurity (<1000g), birth asphyxia, infections (pneumonia, diarrhea, HIV and TB) and severe malnutrition. As an intervention the following principles have been put in place; promotion of hand washing and clean water supply, promotion and mother support for breast feeding, support the use of the Road to Health booklet, implementation of Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), conducting HIV birth PCR testing, tracing and treatment, utilisation of Phila Mntwana Centres and additional support of pregnant mothers by community care givers.

To date, 21 Ward AIDS Committees(WAC) have been established and are functional. These structures are critical in addressing HIV/AIDS issues at a ward level. The Municipality is currently assisting communities to establish WACs in more wards within the Municipal area.

ENDS

Issued by the eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Sisilana on 0313114855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​ or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za

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