The schools based HCT campaign: special provisions for learners announced
24 Jan 2011The National Department of Health, South African National Aids Council and the Childrens' Sector welcome the announcement of the Minister of Basic Education regarding the impending launch of HIV counselling and testing (HCT) in schools campaign for South African learners. The extension of the benefits of knowing your own HIV status to learners is something that we fully support. We appreciated the Minister of Basic Education's commitment to extending these benefits to as many learners as possible.
However the needs of learners for child specific support and follow up, requires the HCT campaign to adopt extra preparatory measures to ensure the best interests of the children involved. These special measures will delay the implementation of the HCT schools campaign but they will specifically maximise the benefits of the campaign for learners.
We know all of our colleagues and partners will welcome these safeguards and the accompanying child-friendly provisions. We believe that our colleagues and partners will particularly appreciate the added value of ensuring these measures are properly in place before the schools-based HCT campaign begins.
In particular the following special provisions will be put in place to ensure the best interests of our children:
- A technical task team will ensure that child specific issues are addressed and that appropriate support and care is in place to assist children who opt to take part in the schools based campaign.
- The schools based campaign will be phased in through carefully selected schools and districts, so that extensive monitoring and evaluation can take place to guarantee service delivery quality to the children and to better inform subsequent phases.
- This phased approach is based on a precautionary and quality first commitment to the well being of Learners.
We reiterate our support and commitment to the HCT schools based campaign and we look forward to working with all our colleagues and partners in ensuring that the campaign delivers real and tangible benefits to South African children.
The Ministries of Health and Basic Education will in due course outline to the nation the full details of the schools-based HCT campaign.
For more information please contact:
Tel: 012 395 8493
Cell: 079 517 3333
Source: Department of Health
Issued by: Department of Health
24 Jan 2011
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