• HIV AIDS & STI
    HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) previously known as voluntary counseling and Testing (VCT) is an entry programme to care, treatment and support. Through early HIV testing, members of the communities are able to know their HIV status and get access to support to live positively and accessed treatment early , Early HIV testing and early management reduces HIV related morbidity and mortality and improves quality of life even if one is found to be HIV positive, which results in improved life expectancy
    Prevention of mother transmission of HIV (PMTCT)

    A Global Plan to eliminate new child HIV infections by 2015, and to keep their mothers alive, was launched in 2011 at the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. South Africa from 1st January implemented Option+ which aim at; reducing the number of new childhood HIV infections by 90% as compared to 2009 levels and reducing the number of HIV-related maternal deaths by 50% as compared to 2009 levels .Through PMTCT programme the Government embarked on interventions to ensure that pregnant and breast feeding women who are HIV+ do not transmit the HIV virus to their babies. Preventing HIV-negative women from becoming HIV-positive during their reproductive lifecycle, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, remains a challenge.it is important that couples test for HIV before deciding on having a baby and also access family planning. Provider-initiated provision of family planning with a focus on dual protection and condom use is recommended. In order to eliminate HIV infections in babies born from HIV positive mothers ; couples should know their HIV status before pregnancy, Should book for antenatal clinic before 14 weeks of pregnancy, should be tested regularly during pregnancy and postnatal care, pregnant and breast feeding women who are HIV positive who are on ART should adhere to treatment. HIV exposed babies should be tested regularly and health care providers should educate mothers on when should their babies be tested. Babies should be tested at all health care entry points. Babies that test positive should be referred to treatment and care immediately to reduce under five mortality.

    Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

    STIs which include HIV are preventable and many are treatable. Early access to care helps prevent further transmission to partners and from mother-to-child, acquisition of additional STIs, and decreases the risk of STI related complications. Screening for STIs at any and all health care visits, can promote STI prevention and management and provide an opportunity for additional health promotion and education. Where possible, communities are urged to report to the health workers both in public and private an unusual or abnormal discharge (secretion), pain, lice and growth to health workers .All STIs screening and prevention should become routine and integrated into all health visits. The Government has revised policy guidelines and treatment for STIs for better outcomes.

  • Condoms

    Government spent millions of rands to procure (buy) male and female condoms and distribute to the communities. The Government Condoms go through rigorous testing at production and supply sites by South African Bearreu of Standards (SABC) to ensure that they are of safe and of good quality .Condoms prevent Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV which is also in most instances acquired through unprotected sex; condoms prevent unplanned pregnancy and are therefore used as one of the family planning methods .The success of condoms depend on the consistent and correct use. It is important at all times to check if the client knows the correct use of condoms. Condom Distributers should ensure that communities are taught through demonstration the use of a condom. Clients are urged to seek information on the correct use of condoms.

  • Antiretroviral Treatment(ART)

    Since the introduction of ART the quality life of South Africans has improved. Less people are sick and dying from HIV. People who were sick have returned to work contributing to the economy of the country. Life expectancy has also improved. Maternal and child death morbidity and mortality has decreased and Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) due to HIV numbers are no longer growing at the rate of pre 1994. The biggest challenge is late HIV testing leading to poor response to ART or poor ART outcome, non adherence to ART, using other products whilst on ART without consulting health workers leading chemical toxicity and sudden death, falling pregnant without getting an advise from health care workers, stopping ART which is a lifelong treatment and clients no longer coming to health facilities to collect their treatment. Communities are urged to test early to access treatment early that has good health benefits, HIV positive child bearing age women have a right to health reproductive health but before they plan to have a child they must get medical advice. Patients or clients should adhere to treatment and not use other products without getting advice from health care workers , should not stop treatment when they feel better or well as this may lead to resistant to treatment and death when they restart ART.

  • Key Populations and Marginalized Communities

    Through High Transmission Areas (HTA) programme as one of the HIV prevention interventions, the government is able to reach Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersexual (LGBTI) including Men having sex with men (MSM) and Sex Workers (SW).The HIV transmission rate amongst MSM and SW ranges between 55-60% an indication that if we do not reach key populations the HIV free society will be a dream that will never be realized. The Government uses the peer norms influence (like reaching MSM through MSM peer educator) and risk reduction workshops to minimise HIV infection in key population. Stigma remains a big challenge when managing key populations, not only in the communities but some health workers as they manage the key populations. There are continuous value clarification education sessions ensuring that our health facilities are friendly to key populations. The Government is educating health workers to take comprehensive history that will enable them to identify sexual preferences to be able to identify the psychosocial and medical needs of key populations and refer for further management where necessary. It is critical for the Department to ensures that the key populations and marginalized communities access comprehensive HIV & TB programme in an effort to reverse the HIV pandemic.

  • Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)

    A person exposed to HIV through sexual assault or other activities involving exposure to potentially infected blood and other body fluids can reduce the risk of HIV infection by taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) soon after exposure (72 hours). Clients who are HIV negative get PEP and those who are HIV positive are referred for care if not yet on ART. Limpopo Primary Health Care facilities ( Clinics and Health Centers) offer emergency PEP and all the hospitals offer comprehensive PEP package which include management of STIs, psychosocial counseling emergency contraceptives in case of raped females etc. Male sexual survivors are often reluctant to report rape because of societal perception on how they expect males to behave. Communities are urged to give support to male sexual assault survivors as they do with females. Sexual survivors are encouraged to report to health facilities (within 72hours) to access services. Communities and parents should be aware of possibilities of rape to both girls and boys; men and women and support the survivors. A policy docket should not be a prerequisite for a client to access PEP, history, examination and assessment of a client should be what will determine whether the client is eligible for PEP or not. It is important for the client who is offered ARV prophylaxis to adhere and comply and complete the treatment for the PEP to be effective.

  • Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC)

    Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) often referred to as Medical Male circumcision (MMC) In an effort to further expand HIV & AIDS prevention programs in South Africa, leaders are scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). Male circumcision has been shown to reduce men’s risk of becoming infected by HIV through heterosexual intercourse by 60%, and is therefore one of the most effective methods available for preventing new HIV infections. There is also a low risk for spouses of circumcised men to develop cancer of the cervix Three randomized clinical trials conducted in 2006 have shown that men who were circumcised were less than half as likely to become infected with HIV within the trial periods. This finding is supported by over 40 sociological and epidemiological studies which show a strong link between circumcision and reduced HIV prevalence. There are also biological studies of the foreskin which show a high concentration of cells very susceptible to HIV infection, which is one of three potential biological explanations as to why circumcision may reduce HIV acquisition (the other two being a reduction in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and a reduction in the likelihood of micro-tears and trauma to the foreskin). NB While male circumcision has been shown to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV significantly; male circumcision does not provide complete protection from HIV infection.

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

    STIs which include HIV are preventable and many are treatable. Early access to care helps prevent further transmission to partners and from mother-to-child, acquisition of additional STIs, and decreases the risk of STI related complications. Screening for STIs at any and all health care visits, can promote STI prevention and management and provide an opportunity for additional health promotion and education. Where possible, communities are urged to report to the health workers both in public and private an unusual or abnormal discharge (secretion), pain, lice and growth to health workers .All STIs screening and prevention should become routine and integrated into all health visits. The Government has revised policy guidelines and treatment for STIs for better outcomes.

  • Prevention of mother transmission of HIV (PMTCT)

    A Global Plan to eliminate new child HIV infections by 2015, and to keep their mothers alive, was launched in 2011 at the United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS. South Africa from 1st January implemented Option+ which aim at; reducing the number of new childhood HIV infections by 90% as compared to 2009 levels and reducing the number of HIV-related maternal deaths by 50% as compared to 2009 levels.Through PMTCT programme the Government embarked on interventions to ensure that pregnant and breast feeding women who are HIV+ do not transmit the HIV virus to their babies. Preventing HIV-negative women from becoming HIV-positive during their reproductive lifecycle, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, remains a challenge.it is important that couples test for HIV before deciding on having a baby and also access family planning. Provider-initiated provision of family planning with a focus on dual protection and condom use is recommended. In order to eliminate HIV infections in babies born from HIV positive mothers ; couples should know their HIV status before pregnancy, Should book for antenatal clinic before 14 weeks of pregnancy, should be tested regularly during pregnancy and postnatal care, pregnant and breast feeding women who are HIV positive who are on ART should adhere to treatment. HIV exposed babies should be tested regularly and health care providers should educate mothers on when should their babies be tested. Babies should be tested at all health care entry points. Babies that test positive should be referred to treatment and care immediately to reduce under five mortality.

  • Tuberculosis (TB)
    TB Control

    We run our program based on National Policies and Guidelines. The TB Control Program has the following sub-programs:-

    1. Community TB.

    Service delivery to communities through the clinics and Health centers.

    2. Tracer teams.

    We trace defaulters and contacts of index TB cases.

    3.In-patient Care.

    Looking after admitted patients including those with M(X)DR-TB ie Multi-Drug Resistant and Extremely Drug Resistant TB.

    4. ACSM.

    Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization where the emphasis is on:-

    • ICF (Intensified Case finding).
    • Screening and Testing for TB.
    • Placing on treatment.
    • Treatment adherence.
    • Information giving to the public (marketing).
    • Kick TB activities at Primary schools.

    5. Recording and Reporting

    -Performance and progress reporting on TB data.
    -Monitoring and evaluation which also entails support and supervisory visits to facilities.
    President Zuma indicated during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 10th February 2015 that:-
    “This year, we are going to launch a massive program to turn the tide against Tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on three communities, offenders at Correctional Services facilities, mineworkers and communities in mining towns”
    National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS, TB&STIs – 2012 to 2016: All South Africans should screen for TB at least once a year!

    The Limpopo TB program will be commemorating World TB day on the 27th March 2015 in Greater Tubatse sub-district at Sekhukhune District. This district has been chosen by the National Department of Health as a peri-mining district because of the high concentration of mines.

    The World TB day is globally commemorated annually on 24th of March. The theme for this year is “ Ending South Africa’s TB epidemic: Accelerating our response in key populations”.

    The focus is on key populations like the mines, peri-mining communities, correctional services, children under- 5, HIV positive and health care workers . Another area of focus will be the decentralized management of Multi-drug resistant TB.

    The activities will entail:

    • Intensified case finding (ICF) through TB Screening and testing.
    • HIV Counseling and testing (HCT).
    • Kick TB campaigns in Primary schools.
    • Screening for (NCDS) Non-Communicable Diseases like Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension.
    • Health Education.
    • Medical Male Circumcision.
    • The aim of the TB program is to implement the full TB cascade that is:
      • All TB patients visiting our health facilities should be screened for TB.
      • All suspects identified from screening should be tested.
      • All confirmed TB patients should be initiated on treatment (within 2 days for drug-sensitive TB and within 5 days for drug resistant TB).
    • Strengthen adherence counseling.
    • Trace interrupters and defaulters prior to and during treatment.
    • Trace contacts, prioritizing contacts of smear positive cases.