South Africa Launches a Five-Year Plan To Eradicate HIV, TB and STIs


South Africa is set to launch its (SNP) National Strategic Plan (a five year plan) to eradicate HIV, TB and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in the country. The plan to be launched in Mangaung, in the Free State, draws on the vision of the United Nations program of zero new HIV infections, zero preventable deaths associated with HIV and zero discrimination associated with HIV. This Plan is usually developed for a period of five years, and the current one came to an end on 31 March 2017.

Out of the 450,000 incident cases in South Africa it is estimated by WHO that about 270,000 (60%) people have both HIV and TB infection. The latest figure from the South African Department of Health is that 73% of TB patients are HIV positive.

The NSP is the strategic guide for the national response to HIV, TB and STIs in South Africa. One of the objectives of the Plan is to intensify focus on geographic areas and populations most severely affected by the epidemics.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, supported by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, and Members of the Executive Council, will launch the plan.

The Deputy President is the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), a voluntary association that includes government, civil society and all other stakeholders committed to drive an enhanced country response to HIV, TB and STIs.

Cabinet approved the five-year plan, which will guide South Africa’s response to the HIV epidemic, STIs and TB, since it will result to the development of the nation.

The launch of the NSP is one of the highlights of TB month plan which is commemorated annually across the globe, to raise awareness about TB and prevention tips.The slogan of this new NSP is: “Let Our Actions Count” which is a call to action for all South Africans to play a part in achieving the goals of the Plan.

In a statement on Thursday, Cabinet said that South Africa’s response to HIV and TB epidemics means that the average South African now lives nearly a decade longer than they did in 2004.

“This fourth NSP seeks to scale up successes while introducing new strategies to prevent new infections, identify infected people sooner and successfully treat and care for them. It outlines the strategic framework for a multi-sectoral partnership to accelerate progress in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV, TB and STIs” Cabinet explained

“This is aligned to the National Development Plan, which acknowledges the profound effect that HIV and TB have in slowing national development,” Cabinet further explained.

The document will be aligned with all national and provincial strategic plans on HIV, TB and STIs prevention and its entire implementation will be monitored by Cabinet.

The Government’s aim this year is to target mainly leaders of society such as Parliamentarians, Members of Provincial Legislatures, Councilors, Traditional leaders, Business leaders, Religious leaders and civil society to commit themselves in the fight against these epidemics and to engage their communities and constituencies.

South Africa has figured out that these epidemics have hindered the development of the nation in the previous years. However, in the last five years, the last NSP was able to curb the spread of these epidemics with the hope that the next one to be launched will go a longer way in eradicating HIV, TB and STIs in the country.

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