South Africa: Shot in the Arm for HIV/AIDS Treatment and for Public-Private Partnerships
March 5, 2010
Dramatically improving health care and increasing life expectancy by 2014 are two main objectives of a new government health initiative.
The recently released targets include:
In December, President Jacob Zuma announced the government would introduce new HIV treatment guidelines by April 1, allowing HIV patients who are either pregnant or TB-infected to start on ARVs when their CD4 counts fall to 350, instead of 200. All HIV-infected infants will receive immediate treatment, instead of having to wait until they show clinical symptoms. The new guidelines are expected to save 10,000 lives annually, according to the Treasury.
The presidency-led initiative will ensure ministers and their departments will be held accountable for their performance in meeting these objectives.
In response, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has called for "a closer partnership between the public and private health care systems." Officials said the government is considering various models and has not ruled out using the private sector to deliver clinical services, something that has not been permitted previously.
Business Day (South Africa)
02.18.2010; Tamar Kahn
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.