Through the power of AI technology, innovation and hard-work, Ugu District in KZN first to achieve HIVAIDS epidemic control
PORT SHEPSTONE, South Africa, November 27th, 2019,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, today officially announced that the first high prevalence district in South Africa, the Ugu District in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) is declared to be in HIV epidemic control. Ugu has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world with 27% of the population HIV positive, making the world-first achievement even more remarkable.
The Minister heralded the success as a result of hard work and dedication by the (KZN) Department of Health and thanks to innovative partners – like BroadReach, Vantage Technologies, civil society -and the support of funders PEPFAR and USAID. Ugu has achieved the 90-90-90 targets at the total population level, before anyone else and ahead of the UNAIDS 2020 target!
left to right
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize; Dr. John Sargent, Managing Director of Vantage Technologies and Co-founder BroadReach; KZN MEC for Health, Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu; Dr Ernest Darkoh, Co-founder of BroadReach.
‘We are so proud to have been part of the Ugu journey since 2007, their success is testament to their leadership’s innovation and courage to embrace technology and new ways of thinking to achieve incredible results. Through embracing the power of data they have been able to focus attention on interventions that have real impact and guide their teams to success to save more lives’, says Dr. John Sargent, Managing Director of Vantage Technologies and Co-founder of the BroadReach Group.
What does epidemic control mean and what are the 90-90-90 targets?
In 2013, UNAIDS established an ambitious treatment target to help end the AIDS epidemic. The ’90-90-90′ targets1 as they are known, requires that:
- By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
- By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
- By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
Ugu’s Performance Against 90-90-90 Targets
The Ugu District in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa is widely considered to be the epicentre of the disease as; 27% of the 3.1mn people living in the district are HIV-positive2
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of The BroadReach Group.
The BroadReach Group was established in 2003 and has been working side by side with the Department of Health since 2007 providing technical support and a host of auxiliary services. The partnership is a result of PEPFAR’s funding of USAID’s HIV epidemic control programs in South Africa. In 2017 BroadReach Consulting (part of the BroadReach Group) started to implement Vantage Technologies* into the district. Vantage is an AI-powered big data platform aimed at bringing effectiveness and efficiencies into health systems. Through giving real time data and step by step workflow recommendations, leadership have greater program oversight and can focus their attention on intervention that will have the greatest impact.
In 2016 Ugu sat on 61%, 65% and 42% across the triple 90 cascade. After 8 months of Vantage implementation the results rocketed to 79%, 76% and 60% respectively as the district started to reap the value of real time data insights and proven recommendation. Staff could be strategically allocated, patients tracked, stock ordered, and targets tracked etc.
Currently, through Vantage, every faciality and every staff member reports their results weekly. This has empowered leadership and staff alike to act in unison with a single point of truth and a common goal. In 2020 the DoH leadership, in partnership with BroadReach Consulting has plans to push results even further in the province and rollout daily staff reporting, this will be another first in the world! KZN is truly leading the way for global HIV epidemic control, using technology as a partner to empower their staff and guide skillful action.
|Target||1st 90: testing||2nd 90: initiated treatment||3rd 90:virally supressed|
* BroadReach Consulting is a certified implementing partner of Vantage Technologies. The company works with various partners in many African countries, including the Department of Health in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga, South Africa; within the PEPFAR-funded award for USAIDS’s five-year epidemic control program in South Africa, called APACE (Accelerating Program Achievements to Control the Epidemic). BroadReach Consulting’s headquarters are in Cape Town, South Africa. Vantage Technologies is a software development company, headquartered in Switzerland, that leverages big data to help strengthen healthcare systems in emerging economies.
Source:: African Media Agency