Johns Hopkins University
South Africa will increasingly move towards nurse-initiated treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the next five years, and a programme in KwaZulu-Natal Province, which has a high HIV/TB burden, is already training nurses to manage MDR-TB patients.
Faced with a chronic shortage of doctors, South Africa moved to nurse-initiated antiretroviral treatment (NiMart) in April 2010. Now, government plans to roll out nurse-initiated MDR-TB treatment, and to make it and NiMart available at all primary healthcare, antenatal, TB and mobile outreach clinics by 2016, according to the National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs [sexually transmitted infections] and TB.
The rate at which South Africans contracted HIV fell by 30% between 2000 and 2008, mostly due to increased condom use, according to a new study published in the Royal Society journal Interface last month.
The study was conducted by an actuarial scientist and epidemiologist from the University of Cape Town, an expert from the Human Sciences Research Council and another from the department of infectious disease epidemiology at London's Imperial College.
One of the study's authors, Leigh Johnson, of the university's school of public health, said that the study used mathematical models to work out what is contributing to the significant decrease in HIV infections.