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 (STIs) 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, STI, 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 providing support in South Africa. Located 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 in support of the South Africa National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, STIs, and TB.
I-TECH and the NDOH are strengthening the country’s health systems by building human and organizational capacity at regional training centers; supporting provincial, district, and sub-district health departments and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) 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.
In the midst of 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 with sustainable local involvement for transition.
I-TECH South Africa collaborates with the Government of South Africa and local partners to:
- Support the South African NDOH to provide high quality HIV, TB, and STI care, treatment, and support for South African adults and children.
- Equip health care providers and community-based workers with the knowledge and skills to deliver prevention messages to 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, STIs, and TB in correctional facilities.
- Provide in-service training and capacity building to support health care worker’s efforts to 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.