KZN Health to increase ARVs to infants

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pietermaritzburg - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health will this financial year ensure that more HIV exposed infants receive Anti-retroviral Treatment (ARVs) for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT).

"We will work in 2009/10 to ensure that 80 percent of HIV-exposed infants receive ARVs for PMTCT (based on dual therapy)," provincial Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said on Thursday while tabling his Budget Vote in the legislature.

He said this figure will increase to 95 percent over the two years of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2010/11 and 2011/12.

The proportion of pregnant women who are tested for HIV will be increased from 80 percent in 2009/10 to 95 percent in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

He said to strengthen the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 80 percent of pregnant women who are eligible will be placed on ARV Prophylaxis based on dual therapy in 2009/10.

"This figure will increase to 95 percent in the outer two years of the MTEF period. 30 percent of eligible pregnant women will be placed on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) in 2009/10.

"This service will be expanded to cover 50 percent of pregnant women in 2010/11 and 75 percent in 2011/12," the MEC said.

He said the department would continue working on plans to help combat the spread of Tuberculosis (TB).

The MEC said the TB Crisis Management Plan has focused on four districts namely eThekwini,
UMgungundlovu, Uthungulu and Umzinyathi, due to their high TB caseload and the existence of MDR and XDR TB within these districts.