Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT: LOCAL -

HOS­TELS A ‘HUGE RELIEF’ When both min­ing health ex­ec­u­tives were asked about changes in ac­com­mo­da­tion for min­ers (the pro­por­tion of min­ers in sin­gle­sex hos­tels was 90% in early 2000), they said this had dropped to “well be­low 50%” by 2013, a hugely pos­i­tive HIV and TB trans­mis­sion risk re­duc­tion. Other pos­i­tives in-cluded the shar­ing of HIV/ TB health ser­vices be­tween richer and poorer mines.

Church­yard said that one of the most dra­matic changes in na­tional health pol­icy re­cently was the in­tro­duc­tion of con­tin­u­ous IPT for im­mune-com­pro­mised peo­ple for three years, mak­ing SA one of the first coun­tries world­wide to add IPT to ART for longer than six months. He ex­plained that IPT was “like an um­brella – it only pro­tects you from the rain [of TB disease] for as long as you keep it up”. Adding IPT to the ART reg­i­men meant that the na­tional TB in­ci­dence could be kept down, thus re­duc­ing the pool of TB in­fec­tious peo­ple and hav­ing an over­all pop­u­la­tion level im­pact. From less than 1% of all HIV in­fected South Africans on IPT five years ago (which he called in­ex­cus­able at the time), more than 370 000 of the 2.3m peo­ple on ART were now on IPT. This was in line with in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice and the World Health Or­gan­isat i on guide­lines. Church­yard re­vealed that the na­tional TB rate had peaked in 2008 and has started to de­cline –

but even with a

Dr Aaron Mot­soaledi

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