Friday will see Government launching the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for the next five years, on HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Cabinet approved the five-year plan, which will guide South Africa’s response to the HIV epidemic, STIs and TB, at its fortnightly meeting on Wednesday.
The plan, to be launched in Mangaung, in the Free State, draws on the vision of the United Nations programme of zero new HIV infections, zero preventable deaths associated with HIV and zero discrimination associated with HIV.
It is also in line with the World Health Organisation’s goals for reducing TB incidents and mortality.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, supported by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, and Members of the Executive Council, will launch the plan.
The Deputy President is the Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), a voluntary association that includes government, civil society and all other stakeholders committed to drive an enhanced country response to HIV, TB and STIs.
The launch of the NSP is one of the highlights of TB month which is commemorated annually across the globe, to raise awareness about TB.
In a statement on Thursday, Cabinet said that South Africa’s response to HIV and TB epidemics means that the average South African now lives nearly a decade longer than they did in 2004.
“This fourth NSP seeks to scale up successes while introducing new strategies to prevent new infections, identify infected people sooner and successfully treat and care for them. It outlines the strategic framework for a multi-sectoral partnership to accelerate progress in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with HIV, TB and STIs.
“This is aligned to the National Development Plan, which acknowledges the profound effect that HIV and TB have in slowing national development,” said Cabinet.
The document will be aligned with all national and provincial strategic plans on HIV prevention and its entire implementation will be monitored by Cabinet.
The NSP is the strategic guide for the national response to HIV, TB and STIs in South Africa. One of the objectives of the Plan is to intensify focus on geographic areas and populations most severely affected by the epidemics.
This Plan is usually developed for a period of five years, and the current one is coming to an end on 31 March 2017.
The slogan of this new NSP is: “Let Our Actions Count” which is a call to action for all South Africans to play a part in achieving the goals of the Plan.
This year, government is targeting mainly leaders of society such as Parliamentarians, Members of Provincial Legislatures, Councillors, Traditional leaders, Business leaders, Religious leaders and civil society to commit themselves in the fight against these epidemics and to engage their communities and constituencies. – SAnews.gov.za