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South Africa's 'rollout' of highly active antiretroviral therapy: a critical assessment

Year: 2006
Working paper number: 158
Author: Nattrass. Nicoli
Unit: ASRU
Abstract:

The number of people on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in South Africa has risen dramatically from less than 2,000 in October 2003, to almost 200,000 by the end of 2005. Yet South Africa's performance in terms of HAART coverage is poor both in comparison with other countries and the targets set by the government's own Operational Plan.  This paper shows that the public sector HAART 'rollout' has been uneven across South Africa's nine provinces and that the role of external assistance from NGOs and funding agencies such as the Global Fund and PEPFAR has been substantial. The National Treasury appears to have allocated sufficient funding to the Department of Health for a larger HAART rollout, but the Health Minister has not mobilised them accordingly. Failure to invest sufficiently in human resources – especially nurses – is likely to constrain any future increase in the pace of the rollout.  Not only does this compromise the health and lives of thousands of people in South Africa – it also undermines the chances of achieving international targets to increase access to HAART.


Publication file: wp158.pdf
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