NW accredits two more anti-retroviral sites

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mafikeng - The North West Department of Health and Social Development has accredited two more anti-retroviral (ARV) sites to meet the increasing number of people on treatment.

The sites at Delarayville Hospital and Orkney clinic, which were recently accredited, will add to the existing 29 sites issuing ARV treatment, while four more are under going pre-accreditation evaluation.

About 74 462 people in the province are currently receiving free ARV drugs, while less than 100 are on the waiting list. The number has increased from 53 944 people who were receiving the treatment in December 2008.

North West MEC for Health and Social Development Rebecca Kasienyane explained that the accredited sites refer stable patients to community based organizations, where quality Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment can be continued.

"This strategy is consistent with the World Health Organization's recommendation that health care systems urgently shift from acute, hospital-based care to community based and patient centered chronic care," Kasienyane said on Tuesday.

The department also has 28 community based organizations accredited as part of down referral programme.

In order to be referred, a patient had to have been on treatment for at least six months and clinically stable on treatment. The patient must also show no signs of side effects and adverse drug reaction.

Kasienyane said the progress is reviewed every six months to ensure continuation.

"We continue to increase access to prevention, treatment and a lot still needs to be done to meet the 2011 National Strategy Plan (NSP) aimed at reducing infection by 50 percent," said Kasienyane.