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Media Centre  |  Affiliates Press Statements

DENOSA applauds nurses for further success in fighting HIV/AIDS

16 July 2015

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) would like to particularly applaud nurses for their tireless work in the fight against HIV/AIDS which has resulted in SA recording a further massive decrease in new HIV infections as of end of 2014 as per the recent report from the Joint United National Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

The report which was announced on Tuesday shows that the world exceeded the AIDS targets of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6 nine months ahead of the deadline (2015), and that it is on track to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
According to the report, the new HIV infections have fallen by 35% between 2000 and 2014 and AIDS-related deaths by 41% from 2005 to 2014. The global response to HIV has averted 30 million new HIV infections and nearly 8 million (7.8 million) AIDS-related deaths since 2000, when the MDGs were set.

With South Africa accounting for no less than 25% of the world’s HIV/AIDS cases, DENOSA is proud that of the 15 000 people who are now on Anti-retroviral treatment (ART) worldwide, more than 3.1 million people are in South Africa, which is a 20.7% portion of people on ART and the largest in the world. From South Africa’s perspective, this progress has been showing an upward trajectory since 2010 when nurses, who are majority health professionals in the country’s health system, were trained on Nurse-Initiated Management of Antiretroviral Therapy (NIMART) to initiate patients on ART.
Subsequent to South Africa’s efforts, the country has managed to turn around the decline in life expectancy among its people within a decade from 51 in 2005 to 61 by the end of 2014. AIDS-related deaths have declined by 58% in South Africa in the last five years.

As DENOSA, we see this progress as the outcome of progressive attitude by government in empowering health professionals into achieving the outcomes that the country has managed to achieve. Because of NIMART, which 23 000 nurses were trained on, the country has more than 3500 health facilities that administer ART. Capacity is posing to be the real challenge that will soon stand in the way of nurses achieving more health outcomes for the country.

Nurses work under conditions that are characterised by a severe shortage of personnel. Filling in of vacant positions in government health facilities and training of more nurses on NIMART will also contribute positively to further increase of the country’s life expectancy as more patients will be initiated on ART.

The challenge currently is that many nurses do not enjoy continuous professional development opportunities due to the shortage of nurses in the facilities where they work. Some even opt to resign from work first in order to further improve their skills, and re-apply.

Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)
For more information, contact:
Madithapo Masemola, DENOSA Acting General Secretary
Mobile: 082 551 6041
Sibongiseni Delihlazo, DENOSA Communications Manager
Mobile: 079 875 2663
Email: sibongisenid@denosa.org.za
Website: www.denosa.org.za
Facebook: DENOSA National Page