National Health Insurance (NHI) is necessary for equitable healthcare and must be built on the foundation of a strong public healthcare system. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and AIDS Law Project (ALP) recognise that the resolution of the crisis in public health care is integral to laying the groundwork for the introduction of NHI.
TAC Western Cape remembers Rita Edwards and sends out condolences to her family and comrades at the New Women’s Movement. Rita, who died at aged 59 after a brief battle with cancer, was one of the founding members of the New Women’s Movement. She was a grassroots activist, feminist and socialist, as well as tireless organiser. She will be dearly missed.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the appointment of Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi as the Minister of Health, and the re-appointment of Dr. Molefi Sefularo as the Deputy Minister of Health. Both the Health Minister and the Deputy Health Minister have an immense responsibility to protect the health and human rights of people in South Africa, and to achieve the targets laid out by the National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS 2007 – 2011.
Today a coalition of Sub-Saharan HIV/TB activists, which includes TAC, released a press statement demanding that African governments and international funders close the gap on health financing. This comes on the occasion of the Conference of African Ministers of Health in
According to the World Health Organisation’s most recent update Mexico has reported 822 laboratory confirmed cases and 29 deaths of H1N1 virus – the official name for ‘swine flu’. Only one other death occurred outside of Mexico and this was in the USA, where the number of confirmed laboratory cases stands at 403. In total 22 countries have officially reported infections of H1N1; South Africa is not amongst those countries. The WHO is not recommending restriction of travel or closure of borders and stresses that you cannot contract the virus from eating well-cooked pork meat and other pork products. The WHO has also recently released a document discussing H1N1 and HIV infection.
In November 2008, an article was published in the renowned medical journal, the Lancet, that proposed a mathematical model that could virtually eliminate HIV transmission in the future and reduce the number of people developing AIDS by 95%. The article called for universal testing and immediate initiation of ART upon learning one's HIV-positive status. The article sparked heated debate between AIDS activists and organizations.
The DA leader in the Gauteng legislature, Jack Bloom, has written a statement defending the Pope's recent widely reported scepticism of condoms. Bloom's comments show a poor appreciation of AIDS science. His attempt to rescue the Pope is flawed.
A number of people concerned about the proliferation of untested medicines on the South African market have written an open letter to the Medicines Control Council.
Please contact Roy Jobson of Rhodes University for queries about the letter.
According to the letter:
"Manufacturers and marketers of these products continue to submit their information in terms of the expired call up. This information continues to be accepted by the Medicines Regulatory Affairs Cluster of the Department of Health. As a consequence the products are freely marketed without any regulatory oversight. This is an unfortunate and regrettable failure of the MCC’s statutory obligation to ensure that the availability of medicines and related substances are in the public interest."
The Treatment Action Campaign is saddened by the departure of Cde Violet Seboni, the Deputy President of Cosatu, who passed away in a car accident on the 3 April 2009. Violet was a leader in the workers' struggle and a champion of poor people in South Africa.
We send our deepest sympathy to the Seboni family, COSATU, and to the nation.
Lala ngoxolo Qabane! Akuhlanga lungehliyo
At the IV South Africa AIDS Conference, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit (RHRU) of University of Witwatersrand, the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society, and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) called upon government to urgently implement expanded roles for health care workers in the delivery of comprehensive HIV/AIDS services through task-shifting, in order to achieve the treatment targets set forth in the South African National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV/AIDS 2007-2011.
The NSP calls for decentralisation of comprehensive HIV/AIDS services to the primary health care level, a larger role for nurses in the provision of life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and ART coverage for 80% of people in urgent clinical need. At the close of the AIDS conference taking place in Durban, there were 999 days until the NSP targets are supposed to be met.