Gauteng conducts 22 million HIV tests

Sunday, February 18, 2018

About 22 million people were tested for HIV in Gauteng, including pregnant women, during the third quarter of the current financial year.

Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa, said the department surpassed its target of 1.8 million HIV tests during this period, which spans from October to December.

“The prevention of mother to child HIV transmission through vertical transmission remains a flagship success prevention programme, with just under 1% positive at ten weeks through the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test,” MEC Ramokgopa said.

She said she was pleased with the overall third quarter performance and called for an improved work ethic within the department. 

Although performance has improved in certain areas such as access to health facilities through the provision of 24-hour health care services, access to chronic medicines at convenient locations, testing of clients for HIV and having a higher proportion of clinics, there are areas where targets still need to be achieved. 

“To this end, there are various initiatives that we are implementing as part of the Recovery Plan with the focus on challenges in the system and priority areas for performance improvement, therefore, we will have to work very hard towards the realisation of this common goal,” MEC Ramokgopa said.

The department has mandated branch heads to lead monthly monitoring of performance including providing assurance of the quality of data used and ensure that actions and resolutions are implemented.

The medical male circumcision programme did not meet its target, but there has been a notable improvement in voluntary medical male circumcisions which has increased from 68 711 to 94 024. 

“With regards to school health services, there have been notable improvements in the screening of children for learning barriers.

“About 66 566 Grade 1 school learners have been screened since April to December exceeding the planned 3rd quarter target by 3 302. An additional 32 561 Grade 8 learners were screened exceeding the 3rd quarter target of 27 070,” the department said.

Also, an additional 13 Ward Based Outreach Teams (WBOTs) were established bringing the number to 775. These teams provided medical assistance to 545 238 children under the age five years and above. Further, 9875 household visits referrals were made to health facilities by WBOTs.

More than 400 995 patients were enrolled on centralised chronic medicine dispensing and distribution programme, exceeding the target of 270 000. –

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