Mom to child HIV rate down

2012-09-05 00:00

THE mother-to-child transmission rate for HIV in KwaZulu-Natal has dropped from 20,9% in 2005 to 2,1% in 2011, well within reach of the provincial government’s target of less than 1,4% by 2016.

This was revealed by KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize yesterday at an event to celebrate the milestone held at Umlazi’s Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital.

“Thank you. I thank the health sector as a whole for the progress you have made,” said Mkhize.

“[The] reduction of mother-to- child transmission is not only important, but visible; because of the high number of children who die before they reach the age of five years,” Mkhize said.

“It shows that our systems are better organised. An innovation that started in the impoverished district of uMkhanyakude has made a difference,” he said.

First Lady Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, who attended the ceremony, said: “KZN has created one of the earliest successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes in South Africa.

“Coupling the research and provision of services is unique and has placed my province in a respected leadership position.”

KwaZulu-Natal is the second largest and most populous province with a population of just over 10,4 million which is 20,9% of SA’s total population.

On World Aids Day in 2011, the provincial government unveiled a new HIV and Aids, Sexually Transmitted Infections and TB Provincial Strategic Plan (KZNPSP) 2012- 2016.

The major focus of the plan was to reduce the rate of new HIV infections from 2,3% to one percent.

It also aimed to decrease by 80% behaviour that put men and women at risk of HIV, Aids, Sexually Transmitted Infections and TB (HAST) through implementation of focused programmes targeting men and women aged 15-49 years.

“We are continuing to mobilise leaders across all communities behind this plan through the KZN Aids Council and Operation Sukuma Sakhe,” said Mkhize.

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