Hon Deputy Chairperson, hon Minister of Health, Dr Motsoaledi, hon Minister of Public Works, Gwen Mahlangu- Nkabinde, hon Minister of Public Enterprises, hon Gigaba, our hon Deputy Minister of Health, chairperson of the select committee, hon members of the House, the director-general of the department, my colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege and honour to be afforded this opportunity to address the House on the state of affairs pertaining to the delivery of services in the Free State, and also to respond to the Minister's call to re-engineer health care services. We support the Minister's Budget Vote No 16. I must also join my colleagues in expressing our condolences to the Mkhize family on the passing away of their son.
Today's debate takes place two days before the 35th commemoration of the historic day, 16 June 1976. The ever courageous youth of the oldest liberation movement in Africa are today still geared to liberating the oppressed and the marginalised majority of our people on the continent.
In line with the theme of the current Youth Month, which is Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime, the department of health in the Free State will launch a programme called Thakaneng. Amongst other things, this will involve youth activities for the current financial year. These will be as follows: the launch of the sanitary towel campaign on 21 June 2011 and Thakaneng Health Youth Indaba on 1 and 2 July 2011. These and other programmes will form part of the Youth Month activities for this year.
Our situation in regard to being responsive to the health needs of the communities of our province, our country and the world is gradually improving. We are putting in place systems that will ensure the provision of quality health care through the implementation of the 10-point plan that was presented by the Minister, and by negotiated service delivery agreements.
Our budget in the Free State stands at R6,8 billion. Of that, R2,6 billion, or 38,2%, focuses on Programme 2, which addresses district health services.
As in the rest of the country, maternal and child mortality remains a challenge to the Free State department of health. Pneumonia and diarrhoea are amongst the five leading causes of death in infants and children. The Free State department of health's maternal mortality rate for 2010 is 243 per 100 000 live births. These are deaths that occur in the facilities, and which are reported to the National Committee on Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths. They exclude maternal deaths occurring outside health facilities.
The Expanded Programme on Immunisation is among the strategies implemented that have been proven to be effective in reducing infant and child mortality. Two new vaccines, against rotavirus and pneumococcal conjugate, were introduced in 2010. The Expanded Programme on Immunisation is at 90% for the province. The Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses, IMCI, is another key strategy for the reduction of infant and child mortality. Paediatric antiretrovirals, ARVs, have been included in the IMCI to increase capacity for the roll-out of ARVs.
To combat the scourge of HIV and Aids, the HIV Counselling and Testing, HCT, Campaign was launched in April 2010. The programme is ongoing in various government activities. The Free State target for the campaign was pre-test counselling of 1 059 396 clients and testing of 957 889. The HCT policy also included TB screening of all the clients that were pre-test counselled and this means that the target for pre-test counselling and TB screening is the same. To date, three of the five districts in the province have tested more than 200 000 people each since the beginning of the campaign. However, the Free State province has pre-test counselled 946 195 people and tested 800 702 in total, of which 400 000 were done between January and May this year. This places the province at 83,6% of reaching its target. The prevalence of HIV for the Free State province is 17,5%, based on the HCT data. The province has accumulated a total of 84 325 patients who have been on treatment from the inception of the programme up to April 2011. During the period January to April 2011, a total of 10 602 adults and 1 019 children were put on treatment.
To date the province has a total of 22 operating sites for medical male circumcision. Four of the five districts have exceeded their targets and an additional 232 clients were operated on.
The programme for drug-susceptible tuberculosis is offered in all our public health facilities. The two mines at Goldfields and the Mangaung Prison are private sector institutions managing the drug-susceptible TB. The multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, MDR-TB, programme is offered in two public health facilities in the province - at the Dr J S Moroka District Hospital in Thaba Nchu, and at a facility in Welkom, where we opened the new MDR-TB unit during World TB Day. I cannot mention the other facilities at this point.
In re-engineering primary health care, PHC, services, the Free State is part of the broader process of transformation of health services, which was called for by the Minister. The service transformation plan is centred around PHC re-engineering with all its ramifications and ripple effects on other levels of care.
The province has thus far made progress in the following matters pertaining to the re-engineering of PHC. It has identified and created posts relevant to the re-engineering. We have funded posts meant for family health-based teams. We have held a workshop to conceptualise the process and market it internally to the members of top management of the department and districts. We have established task teams working on different aspects of re-engineering. We have planned a workshop for all the stakeholders and partners for the end of June 2011 - this June.
In conclusion, as we have already established the new HIV/Aids and TB chief directorate in line with the re-engineering, we have also strengthened the supply of drugs through the review of the medical depot. I believe we as a province have reached reasonable stability, in that we are at 92% drug availability. Of this, what is at 100% is ARVs, and TB and chronic medication. This success can be attributed to the review of our drug policy and the functioning of the medical depot. We thank you for the opportunity to address the House. [Time expired.] [Applause.]