Gauteng steps up fight against HIV/AIDS

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pretoria - The Gauteng provincial government has set a target to reduce new HIV infections by 50 percent by 2011.

Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the target includes extending treatment, care and support to 80 percent of people living with the virus.

Mokonyane made the announcement while briefing the National Press Club on Thursday about key priorities for the province for the 2010/11 financial year, including education, health, job creation and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"On HIV and Aids infections in Gauteng, we aim to achieve a target of 50 percent reduction in new infections by 2011," she said.

With only ten months in office, Mokonyane said her provincial government had also taken concrete steps to reduce long queues in hospitals and clinics by recruiting 3000 more nurses.

She said they had also recruited a further 240 pharmacists who will work hand in hand with Community Health Workers in delivering healthcare services to the doorsteps of senior citizens.

In the past six months, the province bought 115 more ambulances and this year Mokonyane said they will put 120 more ambulances in service to improve the efficiency of emergency services.

"We are taking these steps to improve access to primary healthcare by extending service hours in a number of community healthcare centres and clinics so that all our people can access health services after hours," she said.