Public health

SA making great strides in dealing with teen pregnancy.

ON FRIDAY, the department of basic education held a seminar on teenage fertility, hot on the heels of the news that a teenage girl had given birth in a toilet at a school in Eersterus, near Pretoria.

District Health Barometer 2007/08

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust

The Health Systems Trust (HST) released its latest edition of the District Health Barometer on the 6th of July at the Health Informatics South Africa conference, Emperors Palace, Gauteng. The publication illustrates important aspects of the health system at district level through the analysis of a selected range of health indicators from which comparisons among districts and provinces can be made. Data feeding into the report are drawn from a range of sources including the national Department of Health, Statistics SA, the TB register and the National Treasury. It is the only publication of its kind in South Africa that makes available comparative data for the purpose of measuring and tracking progress in primary health care at district level.

Media coverage of the DHB 2007/08

Table of Contents:


Introduction and Overview
Indicators used in this DHB
Methodology and Data Sources
Data Display

Section A: Indicator Comparisons by District

1. Socio-economic Indicators
1.1 Deprivation Index
1.2 Equity: Monitoring the gap between the most and least deprived districts

2. Input Indicators
2.1 Per Capita Expenditure on Primary Health Care
2.2 Proportion of District Health Services Expenditure on District Management
2.3 Proportion of District Health Services Expenditure on District Hospitals
2.4 Cost Per Patient Day Equivalent in District Hospitals

3. Process Indicators
3.1 Nurse Clinical Workload
3.2 Bed Utilisation Rate
3.3 Average Length of Stay
3.4 Clinic Supervision Rate

4. Output Indicators
4.1 Immunisation
4.1.1 Immunisation coverage
4.1.2 Immunisation drop out rate (DTP1-3)
4.1.3 Immunisation coverage (Measles 1st dose) and drop out rate (Measles 1 2)
4.2 Caesarean Section Rate
4.3 Male Condom Distribution Rate
4.4 PMTCT Indicators
4.4.1 Proportion of antenatal clients tested for HIV
4.4.2 HIV Prevalence amongst antenatal clients tested
4.4.3 Nevirapine uptake rate among pregnant HIV positive women
4.4.4 Nevirapine uptake rate among babies born to HIV positive pregnant women
4.5 Primary Health Care Utilisation Rate

5. Outcome Indicators
5.1 Incidence of New Sexually Transmitted Infections
5.2 Tuberculosis
5.2.1 Smear conversion rate
5.2.2 TB cure rate
5.3 Diarrhoeal Incidence in Children Under 5
5.4 Rate of Children Under 5 Years Not Gaining Weight
5.5 Delivery Rate in Facility

6. Impact Indicators
6.1 Stillbirth Rate
6.2 Perinatal Mortality Rate (PNMR)

Section B: District and Province Profiles
- South Africa
- Eastern Cape Province
- Free State Province
- Gauteng Province
- KwaZulu Natal Province
- Limpopo Province
- Mpumalanga Province
- Northern Cape Province
- North West Province
- Western Cape Province

Appendix 1: Correlation of the National Antenatal Sero-Prevalence Survey with the DHIS
Appendix 2: Deprivation Indices
Appendix 3: Further Notes on Methodology
Appendix 4: Population Data by District and Province Comparing the DHIS and 2007 Community Survey Population Estimates

Raw Data, Sources and Working Documents: Most of the zipped files are in 7zip format. This free software can be downloaded from

District Health Barometer Launch at HISA 2009

The 2007/8 edition of the District Health Barometer 2007/08 will be launched on the 6th of July 2009 at Emperors Palace, Gauteng at the cocktail evening for the opening of the HISA conference.

Tuberculosis a womens health issue

Series Name: 
Nursing Update
Published by: 
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
Using Tuberculosis as a case study, The Centre for Public Health Research, School of Health Sciences and Social Care, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK. (Allotey P, Gyapong M.) said that gender studies, as an area of research, have developed to address the social, cultural and contextual factors that disproportionately affect the ability of women to promote their health and treat disease. The importance of gender in health and disease is now clearly established and increasingly evident in mainstream public health, as well as in clinical and social medicine.

Africa must focus on maternal, child health - African Union

Countries in Africa should promote maternal, infant and child health and report on progress, in order to curb high death rates on the continent, according to the African Union. There are continents where women give birth and it is a pleasant experience because they are bringing life, said AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Bience Gawana. In our continent, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Women also bring death to themselves and their children. Progress on the promotion of maternal, infant and child health featured during the 12th African Union Heads of State and Government Summit, which ended on Wednesday. Ms Gawana said the AU had agreed to launch a continent-wide campaign to address the issue.

A healthier future

Rarely in South Africa can a minister have come to power carrying such a weight of expectation as Barbara Hogan. Her first major public speech at the Aids Vaccine Conference in Cape Town in October was greeted with enthusiasm, and even international delegates speculated about the bright future that seems to lie ahead at last for South African healthcare. Her speech was reminiscent of one of those games where one has to bash crocodiles on the head as they pop up apparently randomly through holes in the floor. Politely, and without naming names, Hogan took a baseball bat and bashed all the major crocodiles on the head: Matthias Rath and his vitamins, for instance. Most of all she asserted the fact that HIV causes Aids.

Health department dismisses HIV, AIDS fund allegations

The Department of Health has dismissed a Sunday newspaper report suggesting that the HIV and AIDS projects funded by the Global Fund face the danger of collapse as a result of the department's incompetence. The projects in issue are funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Creating awareness of womens issues

Published by: 
Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
Women's health is under the spotlight this month and Nursing Update asked Marion Stevens, project manager of the Treatment Monitor at Health Systems Trust a few important questions.