Khomanani back on track

10 May 2007

South Africa is re-launching its Khomanani campaign, with the health department this time putting more emphasis on HIV/Aids treatment, care and support.

Department of Health director-general Thami Mseleku was addressing the media in Pretoria on Wednesday, where his department awarded the campaign tender, worth R190-million over the next two years, to the Sizwe Ntsaluba Khomanani Team.

The team is a consortium consisting of four companies, namely Sizwe Ntsaluba VSP, Sadmon Projects and Consulting, Izwi Multimedia and TBWA Hunt Lascaris.

“This is the consortium that we will be working with over the next two years in an effort to intensify our prevention interventions and enhance access to treatment, care and support services for HIV and Aids.

“The campaign will encourage people to maintain good health through healthy lifestyle choices such as safe sex, good nutrition and regular physical activities,” Mseleku said.

The campaign will focus on accelerated HIV/Aids prevention; care, treatment and support; nutrition and HIV/Aids; health promotion; and HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB).

The Khomanani campaign, which means “Caring Together”, is expected to play a critical role in the implementation of the national strategic plan for HIV/Aids for 2007-2011, which serves as a framework for South Africa’s response.

Mseleku noted that the plan places responsibilities on all sectors to contribute to the response to HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted infections.

He said the department would however still be in charge of the implementation of programmes that would see the success of the strategic plan.

The primary goal of the plan is to reduce the rate of new HIV infections and mitigate the impact of Aids on individuals, families and communities.

It further aims to achieve a 50% reduction in the rate of new infections and provide an appropriate package of treatment, care and support services to at least 80% of people living with HIV/Aids and their families by 2011.

Mseleku said this communication initiative would also assist the department in its broader Healthy Lifestyles Campaign and in intensifying TB control interventions.

The programme will also discourage risky behaviour such as tobacco use, irresponsible alcohol use and substance abuse.

According to Mseleku, the initiative will be crucial in the department’s effort to scale up care and treatment interventions.

“It will raise awareness and encourage people to access treatment, care and support services that are now available throughout the country.

“Most importantly, it will re-enforce our efforts to ensure that people who are on HIV or TB treatment adhere to their treatment in order to address the challenge of drug resistance to both TB and HIV treatment,” he said.

The tender was advertised in November 2006 and 12 bids were received by the closing date in December.

Source: BuaNews