The fundamental barriers to access to medicine remain

The fundamental barriers to access to medicine remain

Eighteen years after the Durban conference, government efforts to increase medicine access – beyond HIV treatments – have been excruciatingly slow.  Though ARVs are now widely available, many more shocking cases of injustice in access to essential medicines remain.

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SA AIDS Conference 2013 update: TAC receives the Dira Sengwe Award and issues statement

The 6th South African AIDS Conference opened last night in Durban. Sifiso Nkala of the TAC took the stage and accepted the Dira Sengwe Leadership Award on behalf of the TAC. The award “recognises ethical beacons and leaders in AIDS” and was awarded to the TAC in recognition of its critical role in the HIV movement since its inception.

The conference, as the HIV movement more broadly, must be led by the people for whom the ideas and decisions discussed at it mean the most – people living with HIV, yet Sifiso was the only person openly living with HIV to share the stage at the opening ceremony. In the tradition of TAC activism, Sifiso took the opportunity of TAC’s receipt of the award to address the conference audience of around 2500 on the challenges that cripple the health system, cost lives and show that the end of AIDS is not so near as some would have us believe.

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Joint Press Statement: High-level Roundtable on TB management in South Africa’s correctional centres

Joint Press Statement: High-level Roundtable on TB management in South Africa’s correctional centres held at Wits

Members of the criminal justice, social justice and health sectors discussed strategies to prevent and treat tuberculosis (TB) – the leading cause of death in South Africa’s correctional centres – at the University of the Witwatersrand on Tuesday, 28 May 2013.

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Statement: A Step Closer to Eliminating Insurance Discrimination Against People Living with HIV

Following years of engagement with the insurance industry on the issue of the blanket refusals to provide insurance cover to individuals living with HIV, SECTION27 is encouraged that a permanent favourable solution could be found soon. This follows the recent groundbreaking commitment made by the Association for Savings & Investment South Africa (ASISA).

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Fix The Provinces and Rural Health to Make the Health Budget Work for All Statement by SECTION27 and RHAP 16 May 2013

On 15 May 2013 the Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, delivered his annual National Health budget and policy speech (here). The speech provides an opportunity for the Minister and his department to communicate progress they have made in delivering health services, the challenges they face and what they plan to do to advance the right to health.

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VILLAGE CLINIC PATIENTS STILL RECEIVING HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN TENTS

Every month, Lusikisiki Village Clinic serves up to 8,500 people in the OR Tambo District of the Eastern Cape. At the beginning of 2013, the Eastern Cape Department of Health moved the clinic from a building in central Lusikisiki to a plot of dirt on the outskirts of town.

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PRESS RELEASE: NO PROGRESS WITH TENT CLINIC

Lusikisiki Village Clinic serves up to 7000 people a month in Qaukeni sub district in the Eastern Cape. The clinic had been operating out of a building in the centre of Lusikisiki since 2005. In January 2013, the Eastern Cape Department of Health moved the clinic out of the building and reopened it in an empty plot on the outskirts of town with a park home and two tents now intended to house the clinic.

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Open Letter to MEC for Health Mr Hope Papo

SECTION27 and the TAC sent an open letter to the Gauteng MEC of Health yesterday. Parts of it were published in “The Star” newspaper. Click “Read More” to access the full version.

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Monitoring Our Health: An analysis of the breakdown in health care services in selected Gauteng clinics and hospitals

On Monday, 4 March 2013, SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) launched the "Monitoring Our Health Report". SECTION27 and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) spent the past year interviewing…

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TAC AND SECTION27 DEMAND IMMEDIATE RELOCATION OF VILLAGE CLINIC, LUSIKISIKI

On 7 February 2013 TAC and SECTION27 visited the new Village Clinic after hearing terrible stories from patients and! health care workers at the clinic. What we found is a disgrace and violation of patients and workers rights. Read the report here.

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Report: Emergency Intervention at Mthatha Depot: The hidden cost of inaction

In early December, the Mthatha medical depot – serving more than 300 medical facilities in the North-eastern region of the Eastern Cape for medical supply needs – faced severe supply and delivery disruptions of life-saving HIV and tuberculosis [TB] treatment for over 100,000 patients. Stripped of 70% of its workforce due to suspensions in a labour dispute, the faltering management of the depot collapsed and critically compounded existing stock shortages at the depot, hospitals and clinics in the area. Orders had not been processed, supplies not received and, ultimately, drugs not dispensed to patients most in need. As a result, the danger of treatment interruption for HIV and TB patients was a perilous reality.
After Section27 and the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) received pleas for help from distressed health care workers on the ground and with the consent of the responsible health authorities, MSF and TAC started a coordinated response. MSF hired a temporary workforce and cleared the backlog of drug orders by coordinating stock reception, order processing and deliveries to affected facilities. TAC set up and maintained a drug stock-out hotline and monitoring network to help prioritise essential drug delivery to clinics. The Department of Health complemented the MSF/TAC intervention by sending three experienced pharmacists to assist at the Mthatha depot. Read the full report here

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