Interventions made by the Department of Health to improve the quality of life for South Africans are yielding results, the overall life expectancy of South Africans has improved significantly between 2009 and 2011.
The tide is turning in the fight against HIV and AIDS. By March 2012, more than 20,2 million people had undergone testing since the HIV Counselling and Testing campaign started in April 2010.
In the fight against HIV and AIDS, the departments of science and technology, trade and industry, health, and economic development announced a joint initiative, known as Ketlaphela (meaning “I will be fine” in Setswana) with Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, Lonza. South Africa will build a R1,6 billion pharmaceutical plant to produce ingredients for antiretroviral medication. Ketlaphela, once it starts operating in 2016, is expected to significantly improve the secure supply of priority drugs, as well as to stabilise prices.
During 2012/13, the health sector succeeded in negotiating reductions in the price of medicines.
The amounts saved were as follows:
R69 million on TB drugs
R169 million on antibiotics
R70 million on oncology medication
R69 million on injectables
R3 million on drops and inhalers
R105 million on tablets.
South Africa has discovered a candidate drug to treat malaria. It has the potential to become part of a single-dose cure for all strains of malaria and may be able to block transmission of the parasite. The drug will be developed further
Programmes and initiatives supporting health
Government will improve healthcare by:
appointing appropriate and qualified heads of department, chief financial officers, hospital chief executive officers, district health officers and clinic managers reviving 105 nursing colleges countrywide, to train more nurses opening a medical faculty at the Limpopo Academic Hospital to train more doctors renovating and upgrading hospitals and clinics providing reproductive health rights and services that include contraception, sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies and sanitary towels for the poor continuing to implement programmes that promote various prevention measures, including medical male circumcision, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and the promotion of HIV testing.
The National Nursing Summit were used to critically reflect and discuss key issues affecting nurses and the nursing profession, within the context of South Africa’s disease burden, as well as the national and international health sector.