CIA transnational health and economic activities
Rarely in South Africa can a minister have come to power carrying such a weight of expectation as Barbara Hogan. Her first major public speech at the Aids Vaccine Conference in Cape Town in October was greeted with enthusiasm, and even international delegates speculated about the bright future that seems to lie ahead at last for South African healthcare. Her speech was reminiscent of one of those games where one has to bash crocodiles on the head as they pop up apparently randomly through holes in the floor. Politely, and without naming names, Hogan took a baseball bat and bashed all the major crocodiles on the head: Matthias Rath and his vitamins, for instance. Most of all she asserted the fact that HIV causes Aids.
South Africa is on the verge of a massive increase in the outbreak of infectious disease in our hospitals, with very few measures to control it.
Half of Africa's population, mostly the poor and disadvantaged, do not have access to existing essential medicines and many more are denied new medicines for treating common diseases like malaria and HIV according to the WHO Africa Region report released on Monday. The 2002 Regional Director's Report of the World Health Organisation says that 50 000 of the 4.5-million people who need antiretroviral therapy have access to treatment despite significant reductions in cost, 6% have access to voluntary counselling and 1% have services for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission.while the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to spread relentlessly in the African region. About 29-million HIV-positive people, 70 percent of the global total, are in Africa, and an estimated 3 million died of AIDS last year. The overall adult HIV-prevalence is about 9%, while in different regions it varies from 1% to over 30 %. Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe have adult infection rates exceeding 30 % Due to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis has become a growing problem. The average treatment success rate is 68 percent, compared to the target of 85 percent. Frequent shortages of anti-TB drugs, inadequate human resource capacity and insufficient diagnostic and treatment facilities are some of the challenges which are frustrating control efforts. Effective vaccines are available but diseases that they could prevent still constitute major public health problems in Africa. These include measles which is responsible for 445 000deaths annually; pertussis which causes 106 000 to 190 000 deaths annually, while yellow fever is still endemic in 34 countries, causing about 30 000 deaths annually; and mortality from neonatal tetanus is about 510 per 1 000 live births. Malaria makes 270 000 people in Africa acutely ill every year, kills over 900 000 and causes significant loss in household earnings. The report says the annual economic loss from malaria is estimated at $12-billion. Due to drug resistance and difficulties with implementation in the African region, tools, methods and technologies once considered effective for the management of communicable diseases are failing rapidly.At the same time, the acceptance of new and effective drugs and vaccines by national health systems has been slow due to inadequate investments. Also non-communicable diseases, mental disorders and substance abuse, including tobacco consumption, are becoming major problems in the region. Countries do not give such diseases enough attention, and treatment is not universally available or affordable. The lack of long-term commitment, coupled with the progressive increase in non-communicable diseases, contributes to widening health gaps between and within countries, the document states. At 940 per 100 000 live births, Africa has the highest maternal mortality ratio in the world. The average lifetime risk of maternal death is estimated at one in 14. However, more than 75 percent of the 600 000 annual deaths from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes could be prevented through timely access to essential obstetric care. The prevalence of female genital mutilation varies, ranging from 10 % in Niger to over 98 % in Guinea. According to the report, over 450-million poor Africans do not have access to safe water, 490-million do not have adequate sanitation and one out of five children dies from a communicable disease linked to environmental conditions. Poverty causes food insecurity and the consumption of unsafe food. The regional office aims to support member states to make health central to sustainable development through promoting a strategic, systematic and integrated approach to poverty and other determinants of health. (Source : SAPA, 1 September 2003).