Posters at the Nhlangano health centre in Eswatini encouraging people to get tested for HIV and TB.
STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP
- It’s projected that HIV prevalence will decrease to 4 300 cases by end of 2023.
- HIV transmission from mother to child significantly decreased, from 6.3% in 2017 to 1.2% in 2022.
- The World Health Organisation’s Eswatini division attributed the gains made largely to political will and combined efforts from partners.
A decrease in the number of HIV cases in Eswatini is expected at the end of this year – from 4 800 in 2020 to 4 300 – according to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates.
In 2020, Eswatini became the first African country to achieve “95-95-95 targets”: 95% of all HIV-positive people identified, 95% on antiretroviral medication (ART), and 95% of those receiving treatment experiencing viral suppression.
Thanks to that level of treatment, the number of HIV-related deaths has decreased from a peak of nearly 10 000 in 2005 to 2 600 in 2021 and 2 370 in 2022, according to the 2021 UNAIDS report.
At the same time, HIV transmission from mother to child significantly decreased, from 6.3% in 2017 to 1.2% in 2022.
In a statement, the WHO’s Eswatini division said the achievements were largely due to political will and combined efforts from partners.
“The strong leadership at both the political and Ministry of Health (MoH) levels, coupled with WHO Eswatini’s presence, has resulted in a well-coordinated response that also complements the support from partners’ evidence-based, patient-centred care at scale,” the WHO said.
The implementation of the antiretroviral therapy programme in 2003 to increase access to treatment and care services is one of the major achievements that the WHO supported in Eswatini’s HIV response.
So too was moving HIV treatment from nurses and introducing it to support staff in communities.
“As per WHO recommendations, task-shifting of HIV testing services from nurses to lay counsellors, adherence support to peer-peer, and introduction of nurse-led ART initiation was introduced in Eswatini. This allowed for the rapid decentralisation of ART initiation and follow-up care and improved treatment coverage,” the WHO said.
In March this year, the United States (US) celebrated 20 years since its launched its global fight against HIV/AIDS, the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar), under the George Bush administration.
Pepfar has been instrumental all over Africa – a continent that saw an estimated 30 million HIV/AIDS-related deaths since 1982. Adult infection rates in Africa were 6.1% in late 2005, compared to 1% globally, but by 2007, they decreased to 5%, as opposed to 8% globally.
The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/with-political-will-and-help-from-abroad-eswatini-is-beating-hivaids-20230913
Publish date : 2023-09-13 17:45:06