South Africa Urges Red Cross to Find New AIDS Strategies
October 22, 2008
On Monday in Johannesburg, South Africa's new minister of health urged attendees at the Seventh Pan-African Conference of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to seek fresh approaches to fight HIV/AIDS. The gathering included the leaders of all 53 African societies.
"They look upon us for a change in their plight," said Barbara Hogan. "They look upon us for a renewal of their hope. We cannot fail, and we dare not fail, for doing so we will be plunging our continent and its people into eternal pain and suffering."
Hogan took the ministry's helm last month during a political shake-up that turned out former president Thabo Mbeki and many cabinet members. She quickly moved to reset the tone for how South Africa's government handles AIDS. Her predecessor, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, was widely derided for her unorthodox views regarding the cause of AIDS and for promoting of beets and other vegetables to treat the disease.
"In 2007, one in every three people in the world living with HIV lived in sub-Saharan Africa, a total of 22.5 million," Hogan told conference-goers. That and other dire health statistics could complicate other security and development challenges, including global climate change, she said.
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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.