More than half of Mpumalanga’s residents live in rural areas and over 86 percent of people have access to piped water.
Although much more is being spent on primary health care (a 200 % increase over four years), R177 per person is still the lowest provincial expenditure in South Africa.
Nkangala district (encompassing Witbank and Middelburg) is South Africa’s worst performing TB district. Despite a fourfold increase in primary health care resources, the TB cure rate has plummeted 20% to a mere 12 percent in 2004.
In Nkangala, which has a population of over a million people, there has also been a steep decline in the proportion of HIV positive mothers who received nevirapine. From almost 93 percent in 2003, it was 48 percent in 2005.
In Gert Sibande district (Ermelo, Standerton area) the TB cure rate declined from 42,5 percent in 2003 to 29 percent in 2004.
Less than one third of antenatal clients were tested for HIV, the lowest proportion in South Africa.
Of these 28 percent were found HIV positive, the third highest prevalence in the country. No data was available on the number of babies that received nevirapine while half of the women who had been tested positive received the drug.
The proportion of pregnant women tested for HIV in Gert Sibande (23 percent) is the third lowest in the country. There is also no data on the nevirapine uptake of babies, indicative of a poor monitoring system.
Male condom distribution is almost non-existent in Nkangala and Gert Sibande with a steady incidence of sexually transmitted infections.