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International News

South Africa: Health Department Adamant AIDS Media Drive Will Go On

July 27, 2006

On Tuesday, South Africa's health department insisted that Khomanani, its premier HIV prevention campaign, will continue, even though the department has yet to contract with new service providers. The old contracts for the work expired two weeks ago, and the department has put forward no plan for how the work would continue during the process of awarding new contracts.

The contractors who had been running the campaign, Johnic Communications (Johncom) and Meropa Communications Consortium, said their activities on the work are winding down.

The department said Khomanani's 13-part TV series, "Choice," will complete its run on SABC1, and Khomanani will exhibit at the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August.

The Red Ribbon Center, which was managed by Johncom, has adequate stocks of most of its educational literature on AIDS, TB, and STDs, said Sibani Mngadi, center spokesperson, though he could not explain how these would be distributed.

Sources close to the campaign, however, disagreed. They said the center would run out of key materials by the end of August, and warehouse workers would be deployed to other jobs. The sources noted that the department made the decision to outsource the work in the first place because it lacked the capacity to manage the campaign. The final stipend for the more than 1,300 community workers involved with Khomanani is due at the end of July.

Mngadi said the department's delay in issuing a new tender was caused by the need to re-evaluate the campaign, on which the government has spent more than 300 million rand ($44 million US) in the past five years. A new tender should be finalized within two weeks, he said.

Back to other news for July 27, 2006

Adapted from:
Business Day (Johannesburg)
07.26.2006; Tamar Kahn

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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.
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