South African Health Minister Slams AIDS Global Fund
July 22, 2002
South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has slammed the Global Fund for AIDS for its donor policies, drawing a fresh barrage of criticism over her government's handling of HIV/AIDS. Tshabalala-Msimang told a youth summit on AIDS late Saturday that the UN-supported fund had bypassed the national government when it allocated $60 million directly to KwaZulu Natal, the worst-hit of South Africa's nine provinces.Adapted from:
Zackie Achmat, chair of the Treatment Action Campaign, said Tshabalala-Msimang's announcement was an effort to deflect attention from the government's attempt to block the money going to KwaZulu Natal. "We feel it is a misguided attempt to disguise her own dishonesty to prevent KwaZulu Natal from getting access to the fund and providing treatment to the people," he told Reuters. "We have lost confidence in the ability of the minister to lead and we urge her to retract her denialist positions." Last week, news that the government was blocking the fund's AIDS grant to KwaZulu Natal prompted the regional head of the Anglican Church to demand Tshabalala-Msimang's resignation.
Health Ministry spokesperson Sibani Mngadi told Reuters that health officials in KwaZulu Natal had agreed with the Ministry on Monday that the grant should be distributed across the whole country, and were now waiting for a response from the fund. "We will be taking the grant... the agreement we reached with KwaZulu Natal was that the resources would be used equitably across the whole country," he said. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has allocated $93 million for South Africa, in addition to the $71 million for KwaZulu Natal, he said.
07.21.02; Mariam Isa
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.