God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

12.11.2009 Maybe there is hope…

I came across this article from IOL, which seems to provide proof that we move from showering away the virus getting into serious debate on the political front:

Zuma issues HIV wake-up call

By Carien du Plessis (copyright IOL 2009)

President Jacob Zuma yesterday call for national mobilisation against HIV/ Aids, saying South Africans had to come to terms with the reality that the country was “not yet winning” the battle against the pandemic. Speaking in the National Council of Provinces, he cited “chilling statistics” of the number of South Africans dying, warning there was “a real danger” that deaths would soon overtake the number of births.  In an emphatic departure from the Aids denialism that marked the era of his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, Zuma said “extraordinary measures” were needed “if we are to stop the progress of this disease through our society”. Recent statistics from the Department of Health, Human Sciences Research Council, Medical Research Council, Statistics SA and other sources “paint a disturbing picture of the health of our nation”, Zuma said:

  • Nearly six out of 10 deaths during 2006 were of people younger than 50.

  • The number of deaths registered in 2008 jumped to 756 000, up from 573 000 the previous year, when just more than a million births were registered (1 205 111).

  • The Independent Electoral Commission had to remove 396 336 names of deceased people from the voters roll in September 2008 and August this year.

  • The average life expectancy of South African men in 2006 was 51 years, while in Senegal it was 60 and in Algeria 70.

  • Some studies suggested that more than half – 57 percent – of deaths of children under five in 2007 were due to HIV.

    “More and more people are dying young, threatening even to outnumber in proportional terms those who die in old age,” Zuma said. “At this rate, there is a real danger that the number of deaths will soon overtake the number of births.” What was “even more disturbing” was the number of young women dying “in the prime of their life, in their child-bearing years”. The situation was made worse by high levels of tuberculosis infection, with the co-infection rate between HIV and TB now “a staggering 73 percent”, with 481 584 people ill with the disease. “These are some of the chilling statistics that demonstrate the devastating impact that HIV and Aids is having on our nation,” Zuma said. He called on political leaders to lead by example and have themselves tested.

  • After this wake up call suddenly other political entities are also declaring the need of a change in politics. Where have all these intelligent people been the last years?????

    Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Networking, Politics and Society, Reflection, Society and living environment, , , ,

    HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

    Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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