Reply by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on question posed in National Council of Provinces for oral reply
3 Mar 2011
4. Mr S S Mazosiwe (ANC-EC) to ask the Deputy President:
(1) Whether the Government has (a) any strategies or (b) engaged any structures such as the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) to look at developing an approach towards addressing social needs of the new generation of those affected and infected with HIV and AIDS, who are currently cared for by institutions such as homes and hospices, and would be required to leave when they are 18 years old; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether the Government has engaged organised teacher’s unions and school governing bodies when the decision was taken to expand HIV and AIDS voluntary testing campaigns at schools; if not, why not; if so, (a) what was the general response in this regard, (b) what mechanisms will the Government put in place to ensure the confidentiality of the results and (c) what support mechanisms will be made available for learners who are HIV positive?
Reply:Honourable Member, Government, through the Department of Social Development, and its key strategic partners established the National Action Committee for Children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS (NACCA). This is a coordinating multi-sectoral structure comprised of government departments, civil society organisations, development agencies and donor organisations. One of the objectives of the National Action Committee is to provide a national coordinated community based response to issues affecting children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, in line with the National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS and STI 2007 - 2011.
The home and community based care and support programme, is one of the strategies adopted by Government to provide comprehensive health and social services to children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and their families. This programme ensures that children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS have access to services in their homes or community.
The services provided include psychosocial support, material assistance, bereavement counseling and support, advocacy for the promotion and protection of rights regarding access to services, information and awareness, capacity building, protection from abuse and other forms of maltreatment.
Hospices provide their services in accordance with the Home and Community Based Care and Support guidelines. They have in-patient and outreach services for people of all ages infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, including children. Provision is made for short term admissions for very ill patients of all ages, as well as respite care for their caregivers. Caregivers in hospices do home visits to provide ongoing care and support to patients in their homes.
Yes, teacher unions and school governing bodies were consulted and the issues raised included psycho-social support for HIV positive learners and confidentiality in such discussions.
Issues of confidentiality are catered for in the procedures and protocols on testing. All persons involved in the counseling and testing procedures have to adhere to these protocols.
Government seeks to ensure that there is adequate support for HIV positive learners and we are also encouraging organs of civil society to assist in this regard.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
3 Mar 2011
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