In what has been described as a significant boost towards implementing the governments HCT campaign, the National Lotteries Board (NLB) has allocated R85 million to Health Systems Trust (HST) to provide HIV test kits and related commodities as well as TB prophylaxis to the public sector as well as private sector partners. This is the outcome of an application made by the South African National Aids Council, HST and the Department of Health to the NLB.To date, almost 5 million HIV screening and confirmatory tests have been supplied to the provinces as well as Clicks and Dischem who have joined in the HCT initiative. At the end of January 2011, more than seven million people have benefitted from this funding. This project attempts to address the twin epidemics and HIV and tuberculosis and to provide supplies in a coherent, measured and sustainable manner.
Test kits and INH prophylaxis are provided to provinces based on estimated need and storage capacity in order to avoid loss of stock through inappropriate storage, lack of record keeping due to oversupply and loss through expired stock. Pharmaceutical warehouses in provinces are required to comply with pharmacy stores as well as wholesale prescripts to ensure that stock are secured against adverse weather conditions, theft and expiration before use.
Recognizing that for the HCT campaign to be successful, significant numbers of people and communities need to be mobilized through information and education to take up these services. In addition, health care workers at health facilities and community health workers within communities need to be capacitated through training and the provision of required equipment to provide these services effectively and efficiently. To this end, HST has obtained additional funding (R8 million) from UNICEF to promote amongst others, provider initiated HCT, within specific clinics in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and North West provinces.
The funding from the NLB is providing huge supplies of the commodities required for HIV counselling and testing which results in:
Through their contribution to the HCT campaign, both the NLB and UNICEF have contributed to preventing deaths and in improving the quality of millions of peoples lives.
HEALTH SYSTEMS TRUST - CONTACT DETAILS
34 Essex Terrace, Westville, Durban, 3630
+27(0)31 266 9090