UGANDA: Using mobile phones to fight HIV

Uganda's rising HIV prevalence is forcing policy makers to look for inventive ways of educating people about the virus. Their latest tool is mobile phone technology, whose rapid growth has provided an avenue that could potentially reach millions with messages.

The good and the bad

The good news on medical schemes is that the industry is turning around from huge losses. The bad news is that nobody's tracking how much medical costs consumers are carrying. On average, the industry performed pretty well, according to acting registrar of medical schemes Patrick Matshidze.

Many children still miss out on treatment

Experience has shown that it is possible to run successful paediatric HIV programmes in rural African settings, yet less than 10 percent of patients on life-prolonging antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are children, field officers of the international medical NGO, Mdecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), have said.

AIDS treatment guidelines under scrutiny

South Africa's official AIDS treatment guidelines are being re-assessed after the international AIDS conference. Health Department chief director of HIV and AIDS Dr Nomonde Xundu said: There is a draft recommendation that is being discussed.

TB: 'Patients are the weakest link'

Nearly 50 000 people in the Western Cape are receiving treatment at provincial health facilities for tuberculosis. Of these, 450 people are being treated for the multidrug-resistant (MDR) strain and 55 for extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB, says Health MEC Marius Fransman.