Mayor encourages civil society and government to work together to eradicate HIV/AIDS

Government and civil society need to work together to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS and TB in eThekwini. These were sentiments echoed by Mayor Zandile Gumede during the quarterly eThekwini District Council meeting, held today at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The meeting was aimed at discussing programmes implemented by eThekwini District to eradicate the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Programmes discussed included prevention interventions; treatment, care and support; child and women’s health and sexual assault cases reported.

Mayor Gumede emphasised that a lot of work was being done by different organisations but there was lack of co-ordination. “I would like to appeal to officials to assist us in co-ordinating the different NGO’s working in the City so we all know what each organisation offers and how we can work together to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS.”

The report discussed was for Quarter three of the 2017/18 financial year. HIV tests done during this period were 212 204. Male medical circumcision conducted at various health care facilities amounted to 8853. It was mentioned that 16 staff members have recently been trained to conduct male medical circumcision and the procurement process of equipment and supplies was currently underway. These interventions would assist to increase the number of males circumcised in a single quarter.

As South Africa continues to strive for zero percent in mother to child transmissions, the report showed that pregnant women who presented themselves for ante-natal care before 20 weeks remained at 72% and 1% of infants had tested positive to the HIV virus at 10 weeks after birth.

Out of 650 000 people living with HIV in eThekwini, 390 906 people are on antiretroviral treatment. The Municipality aims to increase this number by specifically targeting areas highly burdened by HIV and TB and focusing attention on testing key populations.

In the third quarter, women who died during child birth were recorded as follows; King Edward Hospital was three, Addington Hospital was two, KwaDabeka CHC was one and Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital was three. Infant deaths at public health care facilities were 174. It was noted that Phila Mntwana Centres must be aligned to War Rooms to reduce the number of infant deaths.

Teenagers who make use of family planning services are 20 090 while teenage pregnancy recorded was 324. The Dreams and She Conquers programmes were applauded as some of the most effecting interventions in empowering young women and fighting teenage pregnancy and the spread of HIV/AIDS. These programmes offer a comprehensive package of services aimed at empowering young girls.

They include girl talk, parent/caregiver programmes and economic support, Community Norms Change, providing HIV Testing facilities and community services as well as school based interventions. Adolescent Youth Friendly Services were also recently launched at clinics in Pinetown and Lamontville, with the project gradually being rolled out to other facilities.

ENDS

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