prevention

NGOs Distribute Cholera Prevention Kits in Zimbabwe

Three NGOs in Zimbabwe have distributed cholera prevention kits to residents in Harare.

Action Aid, Oxfam and the Methodist Development and Relief Agency distributed soap, aqua tablets and information fliers to residents to prevent the disease that has already claimed the lives of more than 2 000 Zimbabweans.

Action Aid cholera response coordinator, George Matonhodze, points out that disadvantaged people and those living on the outskirts of the city were receiving less support and lacked knowledge about the disease.

Communities Need Clean Water to Prevent Cholera

When I first heard about the reports of cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, I knew that South Africa’s poor communities would be next. As for Zimbabwe, the epidemic highlighted the need for that country’s politicians to conclude the power-sharing talks and to channel its resources into fighting this killer disease.

This week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) figures showed that the epidemic has already claimed more than 2 000 lives in Zimbabwe. According to WHO, the disease has already affected 89 percent of the country’s 62 districts.

TAC Speaks Out on Condom Shortage

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has warned that its drive to prevent HIV and AIDS has come under threat from a nationwide shortage of free condoms that has hit the country ahead of the festive season.

TAC, which usually distributes more than a million condoms a month in the Western Cape, says it has experienced difficulties in accessing adequate supplies from the department of health in the past two weeks.

Study Blasts South Africa on HIV/AIDS

According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, over 330 000 lives were lost to HIV-AIDS in South Africa between 2000 and 2005 because a feasible and timely anti-retroviral treatment programme was not implemented.

The study also found that 35 000 babies were born with HIV during the same period because the anti-AIDS drug nevirapine was not made readily available to sufferers.

Fund Grants Billions to Fight Diseases

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says it has approved 94 new grants worth US$2.75 billion over two years.

The Fund’s executive director Michel Kazatchkine points out that Zimbabwe is set to receive US$169 million after it returned US$7.3 million the Fund says had been “confiscated" by that country’s reserve bank in 2007.

The grants are the highest amount of new financing the Global Fund has approved, bringing its portfolio to $14.4 billion in 140 countries.

Circumcision Cannot Reduce HIV Infection

Circumcised men in South Africa are currently as likely to be HIV-positive as those uncircumcised. This is according to a study in the latest edition of the South African Medical Journal. 

“The first key finding from this study is that male circumcision does not appear to be protective against HIV infection among men in South Africa, irrespective of whether they are sexually active or not”, say researchers.

Barbara Hogan and the NSP: Women’s Lives in Men’s Hands

As with the rest of the HIV sector, we were relieved and delighted when Barbara Hogan assumed the health portfolio just over a month ago. In her address to the International HIV Vaccine Research Conference in Cape Town on 13 October 2008, she officially marked the end of the genocidal denialism that has characterised our country’s management of the pandemic to date. 

Hogan declared that the disease was unquestionably caused by HIV and must be treated with conventional medicine. 

Global Fund Turns Down SANAC Proposal

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has turned down a proposal by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) for critical international funding for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis programmes.

SANAC deputy chairperson, Mark Heywood, says the proposal was unsuccessful because of incapacity and the lack of cooperation from the then health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. 

Heywood says SANAC will now work with the newly-appointed health minister, Barbara Hogan, on the country's proposal for the ninth round of donor funding.

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