Local ARV roll-out ‘not in crisis’

2009-06-19 00:00

ALTHOUGH resources in the uMngungundlovu District’s anti-retroviral (ARV) programme are overstretched, it has yet to reach a crisis point.

This is the response issued by KZN Health Department spokeswoman Sebe Zwane.

The number of patients enrolling for the programme in the district has escalated to 27 915. Northdale and Edendale Hospitals recorded the highest numbers, with the latter handling almost 11 000 patients alone.

KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said problems at Edendale Hospital have to do with data capturers tasked with processing patient charts, a lack of pharmacy space, the inability to recruit staff and an extremely high number of patients.

After visiting Edendale Hospital, a senior management team resolved to extend the pharmacy, employ additional data capturers, fast-track staff recruitment and give patients two monthly scripts.

Zwane said priority is given to pregnant women and those with low CD4 counts. “Other hospitals, like Edendale, down-refer to clinics at least three months after a patient has been initiated into the programme or they are declared stable by medical officers. This model is seen as working very well and may be rolled out if the situation gets worse,” said Zwane. — WR.

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