More inmates on antiretroviral therapy

The percentage of inmates on antiretroviral therapy (ART) stood at 97.95% as at the end of December 2015, says Correctional Services National Commissioner Zach Modise.

Modise said the percentage of inmates tested for HIV was at 91.20% and the TB cure rate (new pulmonary) stood at 85.80%.

He was speaking at the department’s Health Partners Conference in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, on Tuesday.

According to the department, the aim of the conference is to create a platform to share feedback on the support provided, lessons learned and good practices in terms of inmate healthcare.

He said the department’s care programme comprises of three sub-programmes – Health Care Services, Nutritional Services and Hygiene Services. This programme aims to improve inmates’ access to healthcare services, by increasing the promotion of health lifestyles, providing basic healthcare services and preventing diseases.

The strategic objectives are to provide inmates with, HIV and AIDS and TB services to improve life expectancy, appropriate nutritional services and appropriate hygiene services during the period of incarceration.

“To achieve this, the department has been receiving tremendous support, and guidance, from different clusters in the Department of Health (DoH) at national, provincial, district and sub-district levels. The National Department of Health has secured funding from the Global fund for strengthening, and improving, services for TB, HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs),” Modise said.

He said the Auditor-General of South Africa will be auditing the DCS performance information, and that the aim is to have a clean audit report.

This, according to Modise, requires accurate, current, complete, factual and organized documentation and reporting of performance information.

“Officials are, therefore, urged to ensure high-quality healthcare to inmate patients/clients and to keep records as legislated,” he said.

The conference is hosted by Right to Care, a non-profit organisation that supports and delivers prevention, care and treatment services for HIV and associated diseases.

Delegates attending the conference include correctional officials, healthcare professionals, representatives from the department, DENOSA and other stakeholders. –