to get Aids drugs first
The impoverished community of KwaDabeka in Durban will be one of
the first pilot sites to receive antiretroviral drugs at
its clinic for HIV-infected patients when KwaZulu- Natal
receives its R720-million grant from the UN Global Fund
to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria.
Pawinski, a co-leader of the KwaZulu-Natal Enhancing
Care Initiative, announced this during a meeting of
health workers and Aids activists at the clinic on
said that they expected the money to be released by the
end of December, adding that they would be ready to roll
out antiretrovirals by early next year.
scoffed at recent claims by Health Minister Manto
Tshabala-Msimang that a big chunk of the R720-million
allocated to the initiative would be used to purchase
is not true that we will be utilising R43-million for
vehicles. We will be utilising only a fraction, which is
0.4% of the allocation, for vehicles which we need for
our home-based care system for Aids patients based in
inaccessible rural areas," he said.
is the expansion of the prevention of mother-to-child
transmission programme, the home-based care and the
voluntary counselling and testing that will take up more
than 60% of the money."
said the Global Fund had rejected the health minister's
call to distribute the R720-million allocation equitably
across the provinces and insisted that the money be used
only in KwaZulu-Natal.
rollout of antiretrovirals will begin with infected
health workers in the province, he said.
will then extend it to their families and then to
patients suffering from tuberculosis and other
said the rollout would start with six sites in the
province, including the KwaDabeka Clinic and King Edward
enough resources, we should be able to treat all health
workers throughout the province as a start. Doing this
should . . . create capacity to roll out antiretrovirals
throughout the province," said Pawinski.
presented a summary of two years of research findings to
the community and healthcare workers involved in the
understanding of the problems with HIV/Aids prevention,
support and care services were instrumental in writing
the Global Fund proposal, which included all aspects of
the fight against HIV/Aids, he said.
initiative appreciated the role played by the provincial
Health MEC, Zweli Mkhize, in developing its proposal,
soon as the minister sanctions our allocation, we will
be ready for the rollout," he said.