The Republic of South Africa is working to meet the health challenges facing its people, which include a high HIV prevalence compounded by high incidences of sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis (TB). To support this effort, I-TECH South Africa works with government and community leaders, individuals, and communities to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the South African national HIV, sexually transmitted infection, and TB response.
In 2003, at the request of the National and Provincial Departments of Health (NDOH) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Global AIDS Program (CDC GAP), I-TECH began work in South Africa to help implement the government’s Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management, and Treatment. From its central office in Pretoria, I-TECH South Africa has continued to expand its efforts, drawing on the expertise of local partners, staff, and colleagues at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Francisco, to provide technical assistance for a wide portfolio of health programs.
I-TECH and the NDOH are strengthening the country’s health systems by building human and organizational capacity at regional training centers; supporting provincial health departments to increase access to HIV, AIDS, and TB integrated care and treatment; developing leadership and management skills among district, sub-district, and health facility managers; and improving the collection, management, and use of health data.
Working through a five-year cooperative agreement with the CDC, I-TECH is also supporting an integrated biomedical, behavioral, and structural HIV prevention effort in two districts in North West Province.
In all of its efforts, I-TECH South Africa places an emphasis on program assessment, monitoring and evaluation, and continuous quality improvement; and creates and prepares programs for sustainable transition to local ownership.
I-TECH South Africa collaborates with the Government of South Africa and local partners to:
- Support the government’s efforts to provide high quality HIV and tuberculosis care, treatment, and support for South African adults and children.
- Foster community and support events that involve all South Africans in prevention, care, and treatment for HIV, tuberculosis, and other diseases.
- Equip health care providers and community-based workers with the knowledge and skills to deliver prevention messages to people living with HIV.
- Mobilize the community through Post Test Clubs, part of an innovative and comprehensive program to promote healthy lifestyle choices among people living with HIV.
- Assess and strengthen the leadership and management skills of government and institutional leaders through appropriate, targeted evaluation and training.
- Improve systems for collecting, storing, managing, and distributing timely and relevant health sector data, for ease of use at the provincial and district level.
- Support health care workers and leaders to use health management information systems.
Invest in innovation and operations research to evaluate, expand, and improve health service delivery at public institutions.
- Improve and support prevention, care, and treatment of HIV and tuberculosis in correctional facilities.
- Provide in-service training and capacity building to support health care worker’s efforts reduce the incidence of HIV, TB, and other diseases.
- Ensure that resources for continuing education and self-study are widely distributed and available to health care professionals, for example, by developing an e-library to serve as a knowledge portal.
- Build mentorship to support nurse-initiated and managed antiretroviral therapy, supporting nurses to work with continued confidence and competence.