|Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, with Dr Zweli Mkize (left) and journalist at the SANAC stand at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, 2010.
SARRAH supports organisations that strengthen the management and oversight of the national HIV response.
South Africa has the highest HIV burden in the world, with more than 5.5 million people living with HIV. In 2010 national HIV prevalence was estimated at 17.9% of the adult population, with prevalence peaking at over 48% in older unmarried women.Annual deaths from AIDS are estimated to have more than doubled between 1999 and 2005.
The impact of HIV and AIDS are felt at every level of society. A recent survey, for example, has found that 2.5 million children (aged 2 to 18 years) have lost one parent, and 419 000 are double orphans. The impacts on maternal and child health are also well understood. For example there was a 21% increase in maternal deaths in the years 2005-2007 compared with the previous three years, which is largely attributed to HIV. HIV is also the leading cause of deaths of children under five years of age.
Recent estimates from the Actuarial Society of South Africa, however, suggest that the rollout of antiretroviral therapy has reduced annual mortality from 257 000 in 2005 to 194 000 in 2008.
Since the beginning of South Africa’s epidemic many organisations have been providing services for HIV and AIDS. These include the National Department of Health and other government departments, faith-based organisations, trade unions, the private sector and many non-governmental organisations. The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) was established to coordinate the work of these partners around a National Strategic Plan (NSP).
The work of SANAC is complex and demanding and it depends on a strong and well-functioning secretariat. For this reason the SARRAH programme has been providing support to the SANAC secretariat.
SARRAH also provides support for agencies and organisations that monitor the national AIDS response and advocate for the implementation of the NSP. One of these is the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), which has lobbied for expanded access to treatment and other HIV services since its formation in 1998.
SARRAH will also support the work of the Parliamentary Health Portfolio Committee and the newly established cross-party parliamentary committee on HIV and AIDS. This will help strengthen oversight over HIV and health.
The Treatment Action Campaign. READ...
Parliamentary Oversight of HIV and health. READ...