Tuesday, 17 July 2018
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) notes the findings of the survey on HIV trend in South Africa as released by Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) at the National Department of Health in Pretoria today which shows pockets of improvement in the management of the HIV in the country while also indicating the great need for improvement in other areas.
DENOSA would particularly like to commend the hard work that nurses in our country continue to put in, as shown by the results, in fighting this scourge under increasingly difficult conditions. While it is concerning that 7.9 million people now are infected by HIV in South Africa, which accounts for 14% of the country’s population, it remains an ongoing challenge that new infections are higher on those between the ages of 15 and 24 years.
While the overall increase in new infections is 1.6 million people since 2012, it is commendable that at least 4.4 million of those infected are in the ART programme, which is 62%. That we are still struggling to curb the new infections, however, means that the country needs to strengthen and invest more on its preventative programmes.
As a representative organisation for nurses who are spearheading the treatment and management of HIV programme in South Africa, which is the biggest in the world, DENOSA strongly feels more inroads could be made in the fight against HIV if more nurses and healthcare workers could be employed into the country’s public healthcare.
The shortage of nurses will, sooner, become an impediment as people will go to clinics for testing and, because of long queues, have to wait longer hours and sometimes not be attended to. And some would be discouraged to come back the following day and will be lost forever.
The need to hire more nurses is in the context of the country’s commitment to expand South Africa’s ART programme to cover at least six million by 2020.
Furthermore, DENOSA calls for government to fairly recognize nurses who have done the Nurse-Initiated Management Antiretroviral Therapy (NIMART) course monetarily as they do an extra work which previously was performed by doctors. The course should also be recognized as a specialty, which will go a long way in incentivizing nurses.
DENOSA congratulates nurses for their sterling work and would call on young people and men to use protection whenever they engage in sexual activities and to know their status all the time.
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information and comment, contact:
Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting General Secretary
Mobile: 082 328 9671
Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President
Mobile: 082 328 9635
Facebook: DENOSA National Page