Improving health services for South Africa’s young people
Title: Multisectoral HIV prevention programme (MHIVP), South Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Africa
Lead executing agency: National Department of Health (NDoH)
Overall term: 2018 to 2021
At the present time, 7,900,000 people in South Africa live with HIV. In 2017 alone, the country registered 231,000 new HIV infections. Those generally affected are young adults, particularly girls. Every week, More than 1,900 young women are infected with the HI-Virus. This makes South Africa the country with the highest number of people living with HIV or becoming newly infected in the world. The young population is increasingly suffering the consequences of this widespread epidemic.
The South African departments of Health, Basic Education, Higher Education and Training and Social Development have acknowledged the urgent need for a multi-sectoral response to the HIV epidemic. In an attempt to alleviate its burden, they have issued relevant policies within their departments, agreed to implement a multi-sectoral Integrated School Health Policy and have begun supporting the national ‘She Conquers’ campaign for adolescent girls and young women.
The structural and institutional requirements for implementing national strategies to improve and extend more comprehensive HIV prevention measures for young people (ages 10-24) have improved in South Africa.
The programme works to improve the health-education capacities of partners within the Eastern Cape Province. It is comprised of the following areas of intervention:
- Implementation of the Integrated School Health Policy: Together with the Departments of Health, Education and Social Development, the programme sets up task teams whose job it is to coordinate the policy’s implementation. Parallel to this, civil society organisations raise awareness among learners and parents about its content.
- Training teachers to provide comprehensive sexuality education: The programme supports the provincial Department of Education in developing an improved manual on comprehensive sexuality education at primary and secondary schools. By developing a corresponding monitoring tool, this manual will enable the department to track the impact of training teachers and teaching learners.
- Improving training for life-orientation lecturers: The Higher Education and Training HIV, Health, Wellness and Development Centre (HEAIDS) receives technical support. Its objective is to assist them in developing and producing materials and training courses for life-orientation lecturers at technical and vocational education and training colleges. The contents focus on the fields of sexual and reproductive health and rights, and sexual and gender diversity (LGBTI).
- Establishing a ‘She Conquers’ coordination platform: The programme brings together international and national partners as part of this national campaign for adolescent girls and young women. Guided by the Office of the Premier, they coordinate their work in the spirit of cooperation in the Eastern Cape Province.
Collaboration amongst the departments of Health, Education and Social Development at national and provincial level have improved with the technical assistance of the national liaison officers. This has led to tighter coordination and monthly network meetings that are closely monitored by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The joint efforts and impact of multinational partners (the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB, Malaria, the GIZ Multisectorial HIV Prevention Programme) has resulted in the launch of an innovative new funding scheme to provide domestic resources in South Africa to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as integrated school health services in the Eastern Cape provinces.
Last update: September 2020