A local HIV/AIDS management programme is the only South African finalist in the Technology for Health category of the prestigious GBC Health's 2012 Business Action on Health Awards. The awards recognise exceptional programmes, combining solid intervention design, a strong commitment to achieving results and a focus on long term sustainability.
Metropolitan Health Risk Management's HIV Department was shortlisted for their development of an innovative HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) web tool, which has sparked a dramatic increase in enrolment rates on HIV treatment programmes in the pilot curriculum conducted between March and June last year.
Siraaj Adams, Senior Manager of Metropolitan Health Risk Management's HIV ‘Your Life' department, said that it is the development and implementation of this integrated reporting system which had been recognised by the judges.
"The challenge for the private sector has been that, even when people know their HIV status, they are still not enrolling on treatment programmes in the early stages of the disease. The system enables healthcare providers to drive point of diagnosis enrolment, with the patient's consent."
This is especially meaningful for South Africa, because Africa has the highest infection rate in the world, he said.
The 2012 finalists span five continents and a wide range of industries. Their programmes address HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and a range of other urgent health issues, including nutrition, diabetes, reproductive health, comprehensive wellness, access to services and health education.
Metropolitan Health Risk Management comprises the former Qualsa Healthcare and the health risk management unit of MMSA. In 2011, the department underwent a gruelling process that saw it become the first disease management programme in South Africa to obtain ISO 9001:2008 accreditation.