the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) boycotted the official World AIDS Day event
hosted by the National Department of Health in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg,
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fourth year in a row the organization which campaigns for the rights of people
living with HIV has failed to attend the World Aids Day(WAD) event. The lobby
group’s decision to stay away, they said, is their form of protest as they
believe the money spent on World AIDS Day events every year could be used
better to rather strengthen the South African health care system.
of TAC told Health-e News that the government spends millions on a one-day
event, while there still lot of people who don’t have ARV treatment and are
about 7 million people who are living with HIV, and only 3,5 million of them are
on ARVs,” said Serote, while many more infected people have not yet been tested
“As TAC, we
are scared for the lives of the many people who are not treatment, and we are
worried that the health care system is broken,” Serote said, adding that the
situation was getting worse not better. Funds budgeted for World AIDS Day
events could therefore be better used to ensure treatment reaches those who
According to the
TAC’s National Secretary General, Anele Yawa, his organisation was not only
boycotting the official event, but embarked on a protest march to remind Deputy
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi about a
memorandum that was given to them during the International Aids Conference held
in Durban in July this year. To date, the Health Department has not responded
to the document.
Millions without treatment
do applaud the fact that the country has about 3.5million people on treatment.
That’s a good thing. But there are 3.5million others that still need access to
treatment,” said Yawa.
memorandum was also handed over today in which the TAC has called on Gauteng Premier David Makura to dismiss provincial Health MEC Qedani
Mahlangu for her part in the recent Life Esidimeni tragedy that saw at least 36
people with mental health problems dying after they were moved to other
facilities. The deaths happened after Mahlangu was warned that moving the
patients would put their lives at risk, but she ordered the transfers to go
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In the presence of Minister Motsoaledi,
Deputy President Ramaphosa accepted the new
memorandum of demands from the TAC and said “I would like to commend you for
the organised way you have held this march and the peaceful manner in which you
are handing over this memorandum.”
“Comrades, we are pleased to receive this memorandum.
We will go through it and look at a time line, then we promise we will respond
in good time,” Ramaphosa said. – Health-e News.
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