God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

Not shy to sell “milk not for sale”

Some spaza shop owners in Khayelitsha are selling formula milk that is marked “Not for resale”. TAC reports. This milk is supposed to be given free to HIV-positive mothers to give to their babies instead of breast milk to avoid infecting the newly born. The brand name for the state’s formula milk is Melegi. It is manufactured by Aspen. In August 2011 the Ministry of Health in South Africa announced that exclusive breastfeeding will be replacing the formula feeding throughout South Africa. The reason for the change of heart: clinical trials over the last few years have shown that if women take anti-retroviral treatment they can breastfeed with very little risk of passing on the virus.

A consequence of this is that the milk is now being sold illegally because some mothers still want to use it and it is not available free anymore. The question is now: How got the free milk “not for sale” into the spaza shops where mothers have to pay for it. And the next question is whether mothers, who use the formula milk and breast-feeding are aware that mixing the two methods is more dangerous to their baby than exclusively either breast-feeding or formula feeding.

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

20.10.2010 Podium Discussion

Yesterday evening at the Centre of the Book: Podiums discussion about ” A new South African HIV/AIDS policy: Reason for HOPE?.

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, Deputy Minister of Defence (1999-2004) and Deputy Minister of Health (2004-2007) and Chris Bateman,  Senior Editor of the SA Journal of Medicine and myself are discussing the new policy and the role, politics and civil society must play so that the new HIV/AIDS policy becomes reality. An interesting debate about the possibilities and limitations of the New South Africa and its leaders, but also the misery and burden of ordinary South Africans. The questions of the audience give room for a brought debate from trips to the bilateral German – South African agreement versus a contribution to the Global AIDS Fund, but also practical question how hope can be brought to certain communities and a perspective on life worth living and striving for.

An interesting evening where also the president’s life and the topic “leading by example” was not spared some honest comments. Last but not least the question why South Africa pays 20% above the cheapest market price for ART medication produced by Aspen and all the red tape stopping to make cheaper and more meaningful solutions possible.

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , ,

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