Poor outcomes for KZN

Despite having one of the highest HIV rates amongst pregnant women in the country (41.6%), eThekwini, Uthungulu and uMgungundlovu tested the fewest antenatal patients (44%) for HIV in the country.

 

This has serious implications for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission programme, which is based women who test positive for HIV being given the antiretroviral drug, nevirapine, to help prevent their babies from getting HIV.

 

Interestingly, uMkhanyekude, the poorest district in the province and third poorest in the country, fared far better than these three districts. It managed to test over three-quarters of its antenatal patients for HIV, and the nevirapine uptake of HIV positive women was almost 88%.

 

Dr Colin Pfaff, the doctor recently charged by the KZN health department with misconduct for buying antiretroviral drugs to treat his pregnant HIV positive patients, is based in uMkhanyakude.

 

Umkhayakude residents have very poor access to running water so it is not surprising that diarrhoea amongst children under the age of five is almost triple the national average. Some 612 children per 1000 in the district suffered from diarrhoea.

 

However, the children in uMgungundlovu (Pietermaritzburg) fared amongst the worst in the country for diarrhoea. This is not surprising given that the district’€™s main river is the Umsunduzi, site of the Duzi river marathon. Almost half the canoeists who took part in the recent Duzi became sick with ‘€œDuzi guts’€ after the race thanks to the high   ecoli pollution in the river.

 

The province’€™s stillbirth rate is the highest in the country, with 29 babies born dead per 1000. The eThekwini metro, which is the second most densely populated district in the country and home to three million people, also had a very high stillbirth rate.

 

The province has the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections in the country, yet it has done little to improve its condom distribution.

 

There was a welcome increase in the TB cure rate from 35% in 2004 to over 45% in 2005. Zululand and iLembe have particularly improved their TB cure rates. However, this is still the lowest cure rate in the country and way below the national target of 65%.

Other Provinces:

Western Cape

Gauteng

Eastern Cape

Mpumalanga

Northern Cape

North West Province

Free State

Limpopo

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