R13 bn boost for antiretroviral infrastructure

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pretoria - The French Government has donated R13 billion towards the renovation and extension of the Western Cape's antiretroviral infrastructure to accommodate more patients on treatment.

This follows an agreement signed in 2008 by the French government and Western Cape Department of Health to support the renovation and extension of the community health centre in Grabouw.

During the signing ceremony, French Ambassador Jacques Lapouge, revealed that the French government, through the French Development Agency (AFD) was financing multiple development projects in Africa and also funding municipalities, Transnet and various development agencies in South Africa.

Western Cape MEC, Theuns Botha, said the two major constraints for the inclusion of more patients in the antiretroviral treatment programme are the shortage of human resources and the lack of health infrastructure.

"Antiretroviral treatment for AIDS patients is currently provided at primary healthcare level in about 66 accredited sites across the province and given the rapid and constant increase of patients, AIDS case management and working conditions become more challenging," said Botha.

He said the department is currently implementing an investment programme with the aim of extending and renovating all existing community health centres in order to integrate services dedicated to the management of AIDS, TB and other chronic diseases such as diabetes.

The construction of the centre is expected to be completed in February 2012.