More than 12 African heads of state and other global leaders met today and reviewed progress toward implementing transformative reforms in the AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria responses and pledged to accelerate the pace of change (increase annual domestic funding for health care, particularly AIDS, TB and malaria services). AIDS Watch Africa (AWA), an advocacy platform for African Heads of State on AIDS, TB and Malaria convened the meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the side-lines of the African Union summit celebrating 50 years of African Unity.
MEDIA RELEASE: Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa) was bestowed with the Order of Mapungubwe: Bronze by the South African State President on Freedom Day (27 April 2013) in recognition of her “outstanding work in the field of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis research and health policy development.” The Order of Mapungubwe is South Africa’s highest honour.
SOUTH Africa and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have less than 1,000 days to significantly reduce the impact of the tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-epidemic in the region to meet the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline in 2015.
Sadc health ministers and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) will join a delegation in Mbabane, Swaziland, on Thursday to discuss the co-epidemic as well as its impact on labour in the region’s mining sector.
Organisations at a briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday committed about $860m to fighting the TB epidemic in Sadc.
The Swaziland meeting will also look to put in motion recommendations in the Sadc declaration on TB in the mining sector, signed last year.
EXCLUSIVE: Researchers have identified a new strain of tuberculosis in 17 patients in the Eastern Cape which is totally resistant to the all current drug regimens.
DESPITE the tight fiscal environment, the health sector will receive additional funding over the medium term to compensate for a drop in US donor support for HIV/AIDS programmes, expand HIV treatment and improve the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).
Consolidated government health expenditure is set to rise from R138bn in 2013-14 to R148bn in 2014-15 and R157bn in 2015-16.
An extra R800m has been allocated to the baseline for the provision of antiretroviral drugs over the medium-term expenditure framework, with the government planning to put an extra 500,000 people on treatment each year. Currently, about 2-million people receive treatment.
After thwarting several attempts by the Apartheid government to shut down the facility for its defiance of the Group Areas Act, the McCord Hospital in Durban has finally been defeated by money troubles and will be closing its doors in March. By KHADIJA PATEL.
The McCord Hospital in Durban is a 103-year-old institution; home to the country’s biggest HIV care and treatment programme. It is also one of KwaZulu-Natal’s largest hospitals, with 140 beds and 400 staff. Yet it is set to close its doors in March.
Last year, a cutback in international funding forced the hospital to close its HIV/Aids clinic and now, the government is also withholding funds to the semi-private hospital.
The Medicines Control Council (MCC) has granted patients with extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) access to Johnson & Johnson’s experimental drug bedaquiline, even though it has yet to be registered in South Africa.
The death rate for patients with XDR-TB relying on current treatments is about 80%, according to Helen Cox, an epidemiologist with Médecins Sans Frontières in Cape Town.
The development follows an intense campaign by local activists and doctors, who have argued the drug represents the last hope for patients who do not respond to treatment. South Africa has one of the world’s highest numbers of patients with drug-resistant TB, fuelled by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In the early 90s when South Africa's Themba Lethu clinic could only treat HIV/Aids patients for opportunistic diseases, many would come in on wheelchairs and keep coming to the health centre until they died.
Two decades later the clinic is the biggest anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment centre in the country and sees between 600 to 800 patients a day from all over southern Africa.
Since the 2009 Lancet Health in South Africa Series, important changes have occurred in the country, resulting in an
increase in life expectancy to 60 years. Historical injustices together with the disastrous health policies of the previous
administration are being transformed. The change in leadership of the Ministry of Health has been key, but new
momentum is inhibited by stasis within the health management bureaucracy. Specific policy and programme changes
are evident for all four of the so-called colliding epidemics: HIV and tuberculosis; chronic illness and mental health;
injury and violence; and maternal, neonatal, and child health. South Africa now has the world’s largest programme of
IN A break with the Department of Health’s historically tense relationship with the private sector, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has entered into a "social compact" with the CEOs of leading healthcare companies.
He has committed to regular meetings with the CEOs, who have in turn pledged money for a Public Health Enhancement Fund to tackle the skills shortages facing the healthcare sector, and improve the management of HIV and tuberculosis.
A total of R40m has been promised for the first year from 23 companies representing drug manufacturers, diagnostics companies, private hospitals, pharmacies, medical scheme administrators, distributors and pharmacy benefit managers.