South Africa’s presidency presented a challenge to Stellenbosch University towards the end of 2000 — to develop a programme that addresses the HIV/Aids pandemic.
So was born the postgraduate diploma in the management of HIV/Aids, which has now been accepted as a model for the African continent.
The diploma has achieved considerable success since its inception. Building on this, the Africa Centre for HIV/Aids Management was established in January 2003 at the university, functioning as a separate unit for education, research and community service related to HIV/Aids management.
The course is an internet-based teaching programme that enables working people to combine work and study. Graduates, or those still in training, are now administering programmes in close on 1 200 companies, government departments, provinces, municipalities and other institutions, impacting on about 4 400 000 employees.
They have come from 55 countries, including 25 countries in Africa, with the bulk from sub-Saharan Africa. A master’s programme in HIV/Aids management is now also available.
Right to Care, another of this year’s finalists, is a South African, Johannesburg-based, non-profit company involved in implementing and supporting HIV treatment programmes. The organisation works within the government, community and private sectors through a number of partnerships.
The organisation currently collaborates with the department of health in two provinces, Gauteng (Helen Joseph Hospital) and Mpumalamga (Shongwe Hospital) and more recently, Northern Cape.
In addition, Right to Care is in partnership with community treatment sites in these provinces, as well as having links with care and support partners.