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Call for Tenders for the Translation of Equal Treatment

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) invites submissions for the translation of its magazine, Equal Treatment. Equal Treatment has a wide readership across Southern Africa. The translations will be from English to Xhosa, Zulu, Swati, Venda, Afrikaans and Sotho. In general, ten pages from each issue will be selected for translation. The magazine is published five times a year and the average number of words on a page is 400. Therefore, the number of translated words per issue is:

350 words per page x 10 pages x 6 = 21,000 words.

Health, Law and Human Rights Organisations Condemn Arrest of Migrants in Pretoria by Department of Home Affairs

24 February 2008 Leading health, law and human rights organisations condemn the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for arresting 143 foreign nationals in Pretoria on Thursday, 21 February 2008. These individuals, from various African countries were seeking refuge from violence in Itireleng, Pretoria and sought safety at the Laudium police station. Instead of being protected from such attacks, they were arrested and have since been transported to the notorious Lindela Holding Facility and are now facing possible deportation.

TAC/ALP statements on the Minister of Finance's 2008/9 Budget

Read TAC's analysis of the budget so far as it is relevant to health and HIV. Also read Adila Hassim's Business Day article on why needs-based budgeting for health must be adopted.

Disciplinary action withdrawn against Dr Colin Pfaff

The Kwazulu-Natal Department of Health has withdrawn its disciplinary action against Dr Colin Pfaff. The TAC welcomes this development.

See our previous statement on disciplinary action against Dr Pfaff.

We agree with Dr Francois Venter, president of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society who said:

Trial shows microbicide is safe but not effective

The Population Council has released the results of a microbicide trial conducted in South Africa with the Medical Research Council, University of Cape Town (UCT) and Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA) in Isipingo (near Durban), Gugulethu (in Cape Town) and Soshanguve (near Pretoria). The trial found that the microbicide Carraguard was no more effective at reducing HIV transmissions than a placebo. Carraguard was however found to be safe.

Statement on disciplinary action against Dr Colin Pfaff

TAC condemns the disciplinary action being taken against Acting Medical Manager Dr Colin Pfaff, who works in Manguzi Hospital in Umkhanyakude district, Kwazulu-Natal. Pfaff provided dual antiretroviral prophylaxis to pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic. Although the nevirapine programme in the province is reaching nearly all obstetric facilities, about 22% of HIV-positive mothers transmit the virus to their babies. This is why Dr. Colin Pfaff and other medical doctors working in Manguzi Hospital have put patients before the process.

The Central Methodist Church raid and its aftermath

At about midnight on Wednesday 30 January 2008 the South African Police Services raided the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. About 300 people were arrested.

There followed a series of hearings over a two week period at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. A series of perplexing actions by Magistrate Du Pisani in Court 2 led to 15 of the church's refugees staying in prison for weeks. Several organisations co-ordinated by the Legal Resource Centre in Johannesburg then made an urgent application to the Johannesburg High Court. The High Court judge apologised on behalf of the judiciary for the way the refugees were treated and made a scathing indictment of Magistrate Du Pisani.

Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Protocol Released

The Department of Health has finally released the new prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) protocol.

TAC/ALP submission to the Panel for the Independent Assessment of Parliament

On 12 February 2008, TAC and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) made a submission to the Panel for the Independent Assessment of Parliament. About 30 TAC members attended the session and also heard an excellent submission from the Legal Resources Centre.

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