Achieving the National Strategic Plan: A practical calculator for local target setting in district health facilities

Nicholas G Leydon, Francois Venter, Patricia D Webster, Winnie Moleko, Regina Osih, Pierre M Barker


The South African HIV National Strategic Plan (NSP) aims to provide access to appropriate treatment, care and support to 80% of the HIV-infected population by 2011. By mid-2008, highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) was being dispensed to about half the HIV-infected population in need. Reaching the NSP targets will require full mobilisation of all of South Africa’s health facilities. While the NSP has broad political and programmatic support from the Department of Health and civil society, and managers are able to recite the national targets, it has been difficult for these managers to relate the targets to their own geographical areas of responsibility. National, regional and district targets for HIV care have been set from South Africa’s relatively good census, modelling and epidemiological data. However, few practical tools are available to help clinicians and managers understand their facility's actual contribution to the district regional and national NSP targets for each step of the HIV care pathway (HIV testing, CD4 testing, HAART referral and initiation). The calculation of HAART initiation targets is complicated by the anticipated additional demand for treatment that will be generated by a change in the recommended CD4-count threshold for initiation of treatment.4 Accordingly, we provide a data-based tool that is readily available, and that district and facility managers can use to calculate their annual steady-state HIV testing, CD4 testing and HAART initiation requirements. These calculated values can be used for local and regional planning and to assess and improve current performance at facility level.

Authors' affiliations

Nicholas G Leydon, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Francois Venter, Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit

Patricia D Webster, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Winnie Moleko, Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit

Regina Osih, Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit

Pierre M Barker, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

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HIV/AIDS; Quality Improvement; Public Health

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(7):420, 421, 424.

Article History

Date submitted: 2009-12-08
Date published: 2010-07-02

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