Winning the war against Aids pandemic


Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has praised Operation Sukuma Sakhe for playing a pivotal role in fighting the HIV/Aids epidemic in South Africa.

Montlante was speaking at the launch of Operation Sukuma Sakhe Report and South Africa’s 2012 HIV Estimates and Projections at the Indoor Sport Centre in KwaMashu.

The launch was attended by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, National Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and Mayor of eThekwini James Nxumalo.

Operation Sukuma Sakhe is a multi-sectoral service delivery model which puts individuals, households and communities at its centre to tackle poverty, food security, health and environmental issues. This Best Patrice document unpacks the stories of Operation Sukuma Sakhe, and provides a voice to government officials, civil society, private sector partners and the beneficiaries.

Operation Sukuma Sakhe model is highly important since the Province remains at the epicenter of the HIV/TB epidemics. The estimates and projections revealed that more than 601,321 people in the Province are currently on antiretroviral therapy. This is 40% of the national total. The mother to child transmission rate has declined drastically from 20.5% in 2005 to 2.1% in 2011, which is lower than the national average of 2.7%.

An estimated 241 000 deaths were averted in the Province. Children’s AIDS related deaths decreased by 60% in 2012. News infection steadily declined by 33% since 2004, new infection were 370 00 compared to 500 000 in 2004. New infections will continued to decline if the interventions are maintained.

Welcoming the Operation Sukuma Sakhe Report and the 2012 HIV Estimates and Projections, Deputy President Motlanthe said the estimates and projections are a sign that the country is moving closer to its goal of reducing new HIV infections by at least 50%.

“Preventing new HIV infections is one of the strategic objectives of South Africa’s National Strategy Plan for HIV, TB and STIs (2012 – 2016). It is now up to us to use Operation Sukuma Sakhe to replicate success highlighted in the estimate reports. This data will assist us to refine our programmes and identify gaps as we develop our national strategy. We need to double our efforts in achieving zero infections. Operation Sukuma Sakhe is a unique model that addresses a wide range of challenges and it is community led. Now that the model has been documented in a manner that makes it easy to work with and it will be easy for other provinces to adapt it to their own specific conditions.” said Motlanthe.

Minister Motsoaledi said KZN might have a high number of HIV prevalence but it has a huge decline because of Operation Sukuma Sakhe.

“We are going to scale up. In 2009 there were only 250 nurses who are trained to start you on treatment without a doctor, today they are 23 000. Over 1 million males have been circumcised and by 2016 we have a target of 4.6 million. Our strategic plan says every single South African must know their status at least twice per annum,” said Motsoaledi.

Premier Mchunu said 3 days ago KwaZulu Natal had a special Cabinet seating where Dr Motsaledi was invited to address Cabinet on how best the Province can step up the fight against HIV and Aids.

“We welcome the report and it is very encouraging. The report is a symbol of hope that we are making progress in fighting this disease. Sukuma Sakhe is a movement with structures and programmes that carries the campaign on the ground, which we embrace as a tool available to inform our people about the correct information about Mayor Nxumalo said the gains that have been made would have not been possible without the support of the community developers and social partners.

“It is also encouraging that our War Room in Ward 11 is the best amongst the six that had been selected nationally for the research,” said Nxumalo.

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