Over R600m to improve HIV, Aids outcomes in NW

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The dispersal of R685 204 000 follows a decision taken by MEC Dr Magome Masike in line with the national policy for decentralisation of health services to districts in order to fast track the service delivery process in the programme.

Department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane explained that the purpose of the grant was to subsidise the programme of HIV and Aids/STI and TB in part, to enable the province to develop effective response to the programme, including universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support.

"The objectives for the decentralisation of the grant are to ensure district based planning, accelerate the process of service delivery, enhance local accountability and programme ownership and to strengthen the health system," said Lekgethwane.

The major cost drivers in the business plan are payment of stipends for community health workers (caregivers), procurement of ARVs, payment of laboratory services, procurement of condoms, procurement of Medical Male Circumcision (MMC) kits, trainings, communication, advocacy and social mobilisation.

Lekgethwane added that the Chief Directorate for Strategic Health Programmes within the department had since the beginning of this financial year (2012/13) embarked on road shows to all districts for orientation of the HIV and Aids, STI and TB conditional grant.

"The aim was to familiarise districts with administration of the grant with main emphasis on the need to comply with Public Finance Management Act and Division of Revenue Act, each district was provided with Grant Procedure File to enable compliance with standard operating procedures."

During the road shows, Lekgethwane further noted that feedback was also provided regarding performance of individual districts in the past financial year on priority programmes.

The achievements identified included the HIV Counselling and Testing campaign (HCT), whereby the province exceeded its testing target by 14% including drastic drop in Prevention of Mother to Transmission.

New targets for the current financial year in these programmes were provided for each district. Priority programmes include HCT, Antiretroviral Therapy, MMC and condom distribution, Lekgethwane said.

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