Missing HIV/AIDS Patients
A total of 71 289 HIV/AIDS patients on anti-retroviral treatment have gone missing in Gauteng.
This was disclosed last week on Friday at a Gauteng Legislature Health Committee meeting that considered the Second Quarter Report of the Gauteng Health Department which covers the July to September period this year.
According to the report, there are 723 454 adult patients remaining on ARV treatment, as opposed to the target of 788 160, which indicates a “possible loss to follow-up of 64 706 patients.”
Furthermore, 27 691 of 34 274 targeted children remained on ARV treatment, which indicates 6 583 missing children with interrupted ARV treatment.
Poor Data Management
The department ascribes this to poor record-keeping, poor data quality management and incomplete data.
I am alarmed at the large number of patients on ARV treatment who cannot be traced.
TB treatment is also suffering as the loss to follow-up of TB patients has also gone up to 5.8%, missing the 5.1% target.
It seems that the problem is far broader than poor data management.
Interrupted ARV treatment is extremely serious as patients can die from lack of treatment or acquire drug resistance when they come back on treatment.
Strengthening the district health system with Community Health Workers would help to reduce the number of missing AIDS and TB patients.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222