Joint Submission on Guidelines for the Management of Tuberculosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Sexually-­‐Transmitted Infections in Correctional Centres, 2013

The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Department of Health (DoH) jointly announced the Guidelines for the Management
of Tuberculosis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Sexually-­‐Transmitted Infections in Correctional Centres, 2013 (the Guidelines) on World
TB Day, 24 March 2013. Centre for Applied Legal Studies. WIts Justice Project, SECTION27 and Treatment Action Campaign wrote a joint submission

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Report: Emergency Intervention at Mthatha Depot: The hidden cost of inaction

In early December, the Mthatha medical depot – serving more than 300 medical facilities in the North-eastern region of the Eastern Cape for medical supply needs – faced severe supply and delivery disruptions of life-saving HIV and tuberculosis [TB] treatment for over 100,000 patients. Stripped of 70% of its workforce due to suspensions in a labour dispute, the faltering management of the depot collapsed and critically compounded existing stock shortages at the depot, hospitals and clinics in the area. Orders had not been processed, supplies not received and, ultimately, drugs not dispensed to patients most in need. As a result, the danger of treatment interruption for HIV and TB patients was a perilous reality.
After Section27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) received pleas for help from distressed health care workers on the ground and with the consent of the responsible health authorities, MSF and TAC started a coordinated response. MSF hired a temporary workforce and cleared the backlog of drug orders by coordinating stock reception, order processing and deliveries to affected facilities. TAC set up and maintained a drug stock-out hotline and monitoring network to help prioritise essential drug delivery to clinics. The Department of Health complemented the MSF/TAC intervention by sending three experienced pharmacists to assist at the Mthatha depot. Read the full report here

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Press statement: Systematic Problems in Drug Supply Have to be Addressed Now to Avert Future Crisis

After responding to a drug distribution crisis at Mthatha medical depot between 7 December and 24 January, the medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is handing all activities back to Eastern Cape health authorities. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) will mobilize 25 volunteers to assist in the handover

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Financial Crisis in the Eastern Cape Department of Health

May 30th 2012

Over the last two weeks SECTION27 together with our partners the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), TAC, Africa Health Placements (AHP), Rural Rehabilitation South Africa (RuRESA), the Rural Doctors Association (RuDASA) and the South African Medical Association have received many reports from health care professionals and activists within the Eastern Cape who are concerned about the rapid decline in service delivery in the province.

These reports chronicle a variety of issues including non-payment of staff, drug stock-outs and shortages of basic medical supplies, and point to widespread systemic failures in the management and financing of services in the province. Although the crisis has been devastating to all types of state health facilities in the province, the impact of delayed or non-payment of critical healthcare workers and the difficulties in replacing such essential staff is even more acutely felt in rural areas, where healthcare teams are small and extremely fragile.

This briefing note for the public and the media outlines the tenuous financial position of the department, based on official internal Eastern Cape Department of Health documents that we have obtained.

Read the complete note by clicking “read more” below.

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The newly formed National Health Insurance Coalition (NHIC) gives civil society voice on National Health Insurance

National Health Insurance holds the potential to drastically improve health care across South Africa; civil society is organising to secure its success.

Key members of civil society recently formed the National Health Insurance Coalition (NHIC) to collectively respond to and help develop National Health Insurance (NHI). The NHIC also intends to jointly endorse key submissions on NHI, encourage civil society participation in the NHI policy process and launch an advocacy campaign, among other things.

This week, the NHIC published a discussion document to facilitate exchange over the Green Paper on NHI. On 7 – 8 December 2011 the Department of Health (DoH) held an international consultation on NHI, during this consultation the NHIC held a successful side meeting to discuss the way forward.

To inquire about the National Health Insurance Coalition or join our efforts email: coordinator@phmsouthafrica.org. We can go far together.

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SECTION27, TAC, YN, EE, welcomes HCT for teens but cautions on approach

We support implementation of a programme of HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) for Teens … but proper planning and protection of human rights of learners is essential.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), The Yezingane Network (YN) , Equal Education and SECTION27 welcome the Department of Health’s plans to extend HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign to children 12 years and older.

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Report on investigation into infant deaths at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital released

SECTION27 welcomes the release of the report on the investigation into the tragic deaths of six infants on 18 May 2010 at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital (“the Hospital”) in Johannesburg. The report raises serious concerns about the extent to which the Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development (“the Department”) adheres to norms and standards related to human resources, and the consequent overcrowding in public health facilities in the province.

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SECTION27 and TAC applaud successful ARV medicine tender

SECTION27 and TAC applauds the successful ARV medicine tender – but call for continued actions to drive prices of essential medicines down further.

SECTION27 and TAC applaud the Minister of Health and his team at the Department of Health (DoH) for their part in conceptualising, implementing and concluding a successful antiretroviral (ARV) medicine tender. Announced yesterday, the 2010 tender – for the period 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012 – will see the state procuring ARV medicines at or about the best prices available globally.

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IST reports on the state of the health system and the public’s right to know

More than a year after their finalisation and after many frustrated attempts by civil society organisations and the media to access them – including through the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 – SECTION27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) have finally been leaked copies of all the provincial reports compiled by the Integrated Support Teams (ISTs). Up to this point, the only report we have received officially is a consolidated report available here. This report is important, but lacks the necessary detail to allow civil society to engage with different challenges in different provinces.

The IST reports on each province were commissioned by the former Minister of Health, Barbara Hogan, in response to the massive budgetary shortfalls that over-whelmed provincial departments of health (PDoHs) in the 2008/2009 financial year, which reached crisis levels when the Free State Department of Health issued a moratorium on the initiation of new patients onto antiretroviral treatment in November 2008. After civil society pressure, that moratorium was finally lifted in February 2009.

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