UNIZULU FIRST UNIVERSITY IN KWAZULU-NATAL TO ROLL OUT ANTIRETROVIRAL TREATMENT
Written by: Elizabeth Kunene
The University of Zululand (UNIZULU) is the first institution of higher education in KwaZulu-Natal to provide antiretroviral treatment (ART) within its health clinics.
Antiretroviral therapy consists of the mixture of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to extremely defeat the HIV virus and stop the development of HIV disease. ART also prevents onward transmission of HIV.
UNIZULU’s Professional Nurse Samukelisiwe Zondi, said that she is proud of the university to be the first in KwaZulu-Natal to be assisting the community with antiretroviral drugs.
“KwaDlangezwa and Richards Bay campus clinics will be the first university clinics to be provided with the antiretroviral treatment services in the KwaZulu-Natal region,” said Zondi.
Zondi added that antiretroviral drugs are nearly the same as the recognised antiretroviral medication. She also said that the difference is that an HIV infected person who is taking ARVs generally takes more than one pill to fight the virus while with ART medication, a person only takes one pill.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it recommends antiretroviral therapy for all people living with HIV as soon as possible after diagnosis without any restrictions of CD4 counts.
Campus Health Clinic HOD, Sister Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, expressed the same sentiments, saying that she is very happy about the Universal Test and Treat (UTT) programme now offered within UNIZULU’s campus clinics.
“This is happening because of accumulative work, We are grateful to the University’s executive management and the District Department of Health, We worked hard hand-in-hand to ensure that we sign a service agreement so that our people get the medical help that they need without having to travel far,” said Mkhwanazi.
The university is honored to be assisting the UNIZULU community and hopes staff members and students’ productivity levels will improve because any medication that they may need (in terms of HIV treatment) is now accessible in their clinics.
*Caption: The University of Zululand