Introduction The PCA – Provincial Council on AIDS holds its quarterly meeting wherein all the District AIDS Councils reports. The uMgungundlovu District AIDS Council has prepared its brief presentation, based upon the report submitted to the Secretariat of the PCA, highlighting most of its critical endeavours in the fight against HIV/AIDS, STI & TB and other social ills. The presentation covers four strategic areas of the Provincial Strategic Plan document on HIV/AIDS, STI & TB. The presentation is a brief synopsis of a comprehensive report submitted by the uMgungundlovu District AIDS Council.
Intervention Area: Life Skills Strategic Objective 1 Cont… A significant number of learners were reached with Life Skills through My Life My Future and Anti Sugar Daddy Campaigns and 420 learners becoming Peer Educators in Schools. The uMgungundlovu District AIDS Council in partnership with the District Department of Education, MEC Office – Health and the District Department of Health with other NGO’s reached 3200 number of leaners with life skills messages and campaigns last quarter, and in this quarter the Department of Education carefully recommended those in dire need of life skills resulting in 2344. The aggressive life skills interventions mentioned above helped reduce learner pregnancy rate to 47 per last quarter.
Strategic Objective 2: Prevention of HIV, STIs and TB Infection Ward-based Community dialogues and BLITZ on PMTCT were conducted in partnership with the uMgungundlovu District AIDS Council, DramAid, War Room Members, Operation Sukuma Sakhe Task Teams and Outreach teams from the Dept. of Heath. The Community Dialogues on PMTCT were targeted at low performing sub-districts, for instance: Impendle,Richmond,Umshwathi and uMsunduzi Municipalities. The Community Dialogues had a positive impact as most of the recorded intakes for PMTCT at Local Clinics had risen after the information was disseminated by the Ward AIDS Committees, LAC’s, CCGs, LTT’s and all other Local Structures operating within the local area/ward.
Strategic Objective 2: Prevention of HIV, STI’s & TB Infections The uMgungundlovu District is operating below the set target of 5%, of which indicates a good and acceptable performance. Q1:19/609 babies tested positive. Q2:30/814 babies tested positive. Q3:24/765 babies tested positive. The implementation of NVP syrup for babies has made a good impact. HCT – is recommended and done mostly for all babies coming for 18 months immunisation so to improve HIV antibody test to prevent miss opportunities.
Intervention area: Condom Distribution Strategic Objective 2 The demand and supply of male condoms far exceeds that of female condoms. Aggressive campaigns to entice the use of female condoms must be undertaken within the District, and the female condoms should be easily available in all kinds of amenities, for instance: shopping malls; movie theatres; public facilities; workplaces and all other facilities. Distribution of Female Condoms by both the Non-Health Facility and the Public Health Facility should be encouraged and increased.
Intervention area: HCT & TB Screening Strategic Objective 2: Conti… The HCT Campaigns are still continuing within the District, they are run by partner NGO’s in partnership with the Department of Health and the uMgungundlovu District AIDS Council. There is a need for an aggressive HCT Campaign in the District, this is due to the declining numbers of HIV tests carried out through HCT.
Intervention area: ART & Adherence Monitoring Strategic Objective 3: Sustaining Health & Wellness The third quarter (Q3) has experienced an improved coverage and reach to remote areas through the use of ARV Mobile Truck & Team, and there has been an increase in the coverage of ART services to most clinics in the District. There has been an increase in the number of de-registered clients (299 from 63 in the last quarter) from ART due to loss of follow-up, and a noticeable decline on clients deregistered due to death – (from 190 last quarter to 140 on the third quarter)
Intervention area: Coordination, Monitoring & Reporting Strategic Objective 5: Coordination, Monitoring & Evaluation 90% of the times the District AIDS Council Meetings are Chaired by the Mayor – designated Chair. Over and above 70% of DAC Members attend the District AIDS Council Meetings. The District AIDS Council submits its Quarterly Reports to the PCA. Mostly 5/7 Local AIDS Council holds meetings as per schedule, and mostly 4/7 Local AIDS Council Meetings are Chaired by Mayors. The functionality of War Rooms has been a challenge but over 65% of War Rooms are now fully functional at this stage. The 35% of other War Rooms are being attended to by relevant Officials in making them effective and fully functional. The lack of participation in War Room activities by other stakeholders, especially government departments, makes some War Rooms ineffective and not functional.
Intervention area: Monitoring, Coordination & Reporting The functionality of War Rooms has been a challenge but over 65% of War Rooms are now fully functional at this stage. The 35% of other War Rooms are being attended to by relevant Officials in making them effective and fully functional. The lack of participation in War Room activities by other stakeholders, especially government departments, makes some War Rooms ineffective and not functional.
Intervention area: Coordination, Monitoring & Reporting Strategic Objective 5: Coordination, Monitoring & Evaluation A classical example of true Coordination, Operation Sukuma Sakhe Principles and working together of government departments with the Community towards a noble cause. A Caluza house which was in a brink of falling down with a family of seven occupying the house. Through a door- to-door campaign, coordinated by the uMgungundlovu District AIDS Council and the Edendale Hospital, the house was identified from the Local War Room Profiles and the CCG’s working in the area. The house was built by a Private Businessman (Khayelihle Funerals) in partnership with other Government Departments, the Local Community and other sectors. Today the family is safe in house with furniture….this is Operation Sukuma Sakhe in its best practice.
RECOMMENDATIONS Aggressive use of a Ward-based interventions and tackling of social ills, for instance: integration of the Operation Sukuma Sakhe structures into Projects aimed at the respective communities. Recruitment of Local HIV/AIDS Coordinators and filling up of posts where there is a vacancy. Ensuring the functionality of War Rooms, Ward AIDS Councils, Local AIDS Councils and the submittion of reports to the District AIDS Council.
Conclusion In conclusion, the fight against HIV/AIDS, STI & TB requires a holistic, integrated and multi- sectoral approach. The principles of Operation Sukuma Sakhe should become key in all of our collective efforts to eradicating the social ills facing the communities we serve.