Ambitious Expansion of Treatment Services
In 2003, CHAI was asked by President Mbeki of South Africa to help his country develop a five-year plan for significantly scaling up treatment of AIDS patients. Some years later, CHAI was invited back to work with the South African government to begin to implement the plan. In 2010, CHAI partnered with the Ministry of Health to undertake the largest expansion of HIV testing and AIDS treatment ever attempted in the world. Initial goals were to test 15 million people, including all young adults, and have 3,000 health centers initiating treatment by 2011. By 2013, CHAI intends to help the South African government provide treatment to 2.3 million people, up from 800,000 at the beginning of 2010.
CHAI’s efforts to support the government’s goals include working directly with the national Department of Health and each of the country’s nine provinces to develop implementation plans for testing and treatment and to select facilities for antiretroviral treatment (ART) scale-up. CHAI has also empowered nurses in South Africa; between April and December 2010 more than 2,200 nurses were trained in a standardized Nurse Initiated Management of ART (NIMART) curriculum. Most significantly, CHAI supported the Department of Health in redesigning and managing its ART tender, which will result in a savings of around $700 million over the next two years and will enable the government to dramatically increase the number of people on treatment within its current budget. In the 12 months since the project’s launch in April 2010, nearly 10 million people have been tested for HIV, more than 6 million symptomatically screened for TB, and over 400,000 people have been added to treatment programs.