ISDS Site: Central Karoo District
The Central Karoo is a sparsely populated district situated in the north east of the Western Cape province. It borders on the Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape provinces. It is a fairly arid landscape with only 260mm rain per year. It has a surface area of 38 853 square km a population of 60 471 with a population density of 1.6 persons per square km. Approximately half of the population lives in the Beaufort West local municipal area. The district has one district municipality and three local municipal areas.
Compared to other rural areas in the country, the district has a high level of access to basic services such as water (95%), sanitation (68% have flush or chemical toilets) and electricity (80%). According to Census 2001, unemployment is at 49% and nearly half of households earn below the minimum level of R18 000 per annum. The district is a designated Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme node (ISRDP).
The district and local municipalities run most of the primary health care services apart from one community health clinic which is run by provincial authorities. Facilities generally have a good infrastructure and mobile services are used to reach remote areas. The main health problems in the Central Karoo are TB (CK has one of the highest incidences of TB in the country), HIV /AIDS, childhood illnesses (diarrhoea, respiratory infections and low birth weight) and chronic diseases such as strokes and heart disease.
ISDS provides support which includes:
- establishing a district management team and a District Health Expenditure review,
- supporting TB management
- improving quality of care in the treatment of STIs
- linking with the Integrated Development Plan and assisting with development of a district health plan.