Wednesday 22 May

In 2009 the AIDS Law Project investigated a moratorium on initiating new patients onto ARV treatment at Edendale Hospital in Kwazulu-Natal following press reports from Health-e news and others, and a call from a concerned private practitioner in Pietermaritzburg.We now publish the report of that investigation.

This report is compiled from press reports, interviews and documents from patients and health care workers from mid-June to August 2009. The identities of some interviewees have been kept confidential to protect their privacy. This report remains timely as the failures experienced at Edendale, the responses to those failures and the repeated calls for assistance from the health care workers at Edendale over a three year period, and the conclusions drawn from this experience remain problems facing the health care system across South Africa.

The report identifies both management failures, including in accountability of managers and officers who failed to respond to the crisis despite their awareness of its development, as well as improper and delayed implementation of the National Health Act and the Kwazulu-Natal Health Act which could have been utilised to prevent this crisis before lives were lost unnecessarily.

The AIDS Law Project thanks the Treatment Action Campaign, and the doctors and patients at the Edendale Hospital for their co-operation.

The full report is available below:

Death by Delay – The Moratorium on ARV initiation at Edendale Hospital


For comment, please contact:

Mark Heywood
Executive Director: AIDS Law Project
+27 (0)83 634 8806