South Africa

sa map

With a population of 47.9 million people, South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa. Among its strengths are an abundant supply of natural resources, particularly diamonds, and well-developed infrastructure. Outside of the country’s four major cities, however, the vast majority of South Africans are impoverished. One-third of the population lives on less than $2 US per day.

Health Care System
South Africa's public health care system is based on a referral system between hospitals and primary health care facilities. Unlike the country's private health care system, the public system suffers from chronic human resource shortages and limited resources. Delivery of health services is particularly difficult in rural areas which have been heavily affected by the HIV pandemic and related infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis (TB). Average life expectancy is 48 years of age.

HIV/AIDS in South Africa
South Africa has an estimated 5.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS, the largest number of any country. The seroprevalence rate is estimated at 19 percent. In addition, HIV/AIDS has orphaned an estimated 1.2 million children in South Africa. HIV has most strongly affected women in South Africa: females in younger age groups are four times more likely to be HIV infected than males and as many as one-third of pregnant women are HIV infected. In recent years, the government reversed its long-standing resistance to implementing a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy and began to coordinate its response to the pandemic with civil society organizations and international donors. In 2006, more than 300,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa had initiated antiretroviral treatment (ART), making it one of the largest HIV treatment programs in the world.

ICAP in South Africa
In 2002, ICAP began providing technical assistance to HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment programs in South Africa. Today, the Center supports HIV programs in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, and Free State Provinces.

Support for Programmatic Activities
In South Africa, ICAP provides an array of clinical and technical support for HIV/AIDS-related activities at health facilities with the goals of enhancing service delivery, building capacity, and promoting sustainable programs. ICAP-supported activities include:

  • Pediatric and adult HIV/AIDS care and treatment, including provision of ART
  • HIV counseling and testing
  • Infant diagnosis
  • Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services
  • TB/HIV integration
  • HIV palliative care
  • Renovations of clinics and laboratories and provision of equipment, supplies, and furnishings
  • Site-level clinical mentoring and technical support
  • Decentralization of HIV/AIDS services from hospitals to primary health care facilities
  • Involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS in program activities
  • Patient information systems and data collection
  • Training programs in HIV care and treatment for nurse mentors
  • Pharmacy assistants training programs

Partners
In addition to facility and service delivery support, ICAP collaborates with and supports the national health department and regional health departments in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces. Other partners include the Foundation for Professional Development, University of Fort Hare, Mothers Programme, UNICEF, Ikhwezi Lokusa Wellness Center, University of KwaZulu-Natal Provinces. Other partners include the Foundation for Professional Development, University of Fort Hare, Mothers Programme, UNICEF, Ikhwezi Lokusa Wellness Center, University of KwaZulu-Natal, National Health and Laboratory Services, Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, and Small Projects Foundation.

Map of ICAP-Supported Sites in South Africa