The Health ministry has instructed provincial departments not to have any dealings with the United Nations special envoy on Aids in Africa.
An increasing number of women are being diagnosed each year with breast cancer and the condition has become the most common among all South Africans. About 3 800 women were diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone. The condition is most prevalent among whites and Asian women. About 90 percent of patients survive for many years after diagnosis when breast cancer is detected at the early stages. Early detection of the condition can lead to effective treatment and a positive prognosis can prevent unnecessary deaths, according to experts. The department will host a series of awareness campaigns across the country to educate the public about the need for regular self-examination, to have regular mammograms and to provide information about early symptoms and the various treatment options available. The department will work with the public and private healthcare structures in its drive to raise awareness of the debilitating disease across all races and class structures. (Source: Sowetan, 3 October 2001)
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and the health MECs in all nine provinces are to defend the court action launched by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and hundreds of doctors to force them to provide antiretroviral treatment to HIV-positive pregnant women in the public health system. The TAC and doctors sent a letter of demand followed by court papers asking the national health ministry and provinces to supply the antiretroviral drugs or details of a plan to do so. Government was given until yesterday to say if it would defend the action. Western Cape, which has a plan in place, is defending the action but notified Tshabalala-Msimang its approach would be different. A spokesman for health MEC Nick Koornhof said last night that the province would have preferred it had the TAC not included it in the action as it had a plan in operation to provide the treatment. The province would use its own team of lawyers and would likely try to avoid being lumped into the same action with the other respondents. A similar approach seemed possible from Gauteng, which, while defending the action, has written a letter explaining its own rollout for the provision of treatment. Earlier in the year, Gauteng launched the rollout of its plan, making it clear it intended to give treatment more widely than the provision of two sites would allow for. It has become clear that the court case and the issue of the provision of antiretroviral treatment are dividing the public health system. (Source: Business Day, 13 September 2001)
In response to questions in Parliament on 11/10 concerning the offers of cheaper drugs for HIV/AIDS by international drug companies, Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said very little progress has been made.