God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

Politics can produce drug resistance

It will be a hot and contested election year in South Africa – and the heat is starting to be felt with all the manifestos and declarations but also toi-toi’s and service delivery protests. The DA want’s to march towards Luthuli House, Khayelitsha residence fight for better sanitation systems, AMCU is on strike again at the Platinum mines – people are going for their convictions onto the streets and politics one or the other way dictates for a lot of people how they spend their days. The question I would like to ask is whether with all those emotions boiling over are people still taking care of their health? Do people have time to go to the clinics to take their TB medication; do they think of appointments with doctors and nursing staff and do they take their anti-retroviral treatment as prescribed if they are in need of it?

We often hear that in times of unrest, civil war health issues are on the back-burner when it comes to people’s minds – often they don’t have the opportunity to organize their health related obligations to keep fit. But I believe even on the low-level of service delivery protests and strikes and marches we can see the problem arising of not adherence to life saving medication. We pride ourselves to put more and more people on those medication but we seem not to be able to ensure the proper compliance when politics takes over. With 2 million and still counting for example on anti-retroviral treatment, there must be a concern about their well-being in those heated days.
When we saw the poo-protesters on the N2 motorway many times last year – those questions of adherence and compliance were always on my mind. Knowing how big the restrains are already on the health system we can’t effort more resistant bugs. And reading this morning about the thoughts of government officials to let people pay if they self-inflict their health problems – non-compliance because of toi-toi might be also falling soon under that label. It might sound far-fetched – but country and society are in such a crazy mood in many quarters – let’s work together that we care about compliance and adherence, be it TB or HIV or any other of those disease bringing down a person if not treated in a proper way.

Filed under: General, HIV and AIDS, HIV Treatment, Politics and Society, Reflection, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Every 10th South African is HIV positiv

The publication of the newest statistics in South Africa makes it clear: There is no real relief in South Africa when it comes to HIV and AIDS and there is real concern looking at TB. The figures in the Western Cape around HIV and AIDS are showing in increase instead of the aimed decrease in numbers. To put so many people on treatment means that adherence and compliance are not controlled and resistance is growing amongst those being newly infected and detected. We still pay the price for the denial of the government of Thabo Mbeki and his famous minister of health, known to be connected to beetroot and other veggies. And as long the social system of South Africa does not support those on treatment, but pay grants for those who are sick we have the perverted situation that sickness pays the bills and brings food on the table. Together with the social problems of South Africa including crime and unemployment – there is still a long way to go to get back to a healthy society. HOPE Cape Town is committed to assist on this long way provided that government on all levels learn more and more to collaborate with NGO’s and accept their own rights and their own standing and ability to contribute. Also in terms of the relationship between local, provincial and national government and the NGO sector there is more to learn in the years to come. But as usual, there is always HOPE 🙂

Visit -  Ithemba Ward

Filed under: HOPE Cape Town Association, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, HOPE Cape Town Trust, Politics and Society, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16.02.2010 POZ and CAN

A whole series of meetings today, amongst others one with our working group looking into the pastoral care for HIV positive priests and religious. We discuss the way forward and how important it is to back up our pastoral efforts with a proper theological and psychological consideration. Obviously it is compassion driving us, but is this enough? When we want to engage bishops and convince them to support us, it would be good for us to have done our homework. Obviously we also have to look at the scale of what we can do and how we approach it. A very constructive meeting and surely a big step forward.

Afterwards meeting with the Catholic Aids Network in Welcome Estate. We are still waiting for our constitution as requested by the National Catholic Aids office and we discussed in length the way forward. The topic HIV and AIDS has indeed changed in the last years and for many church groups and initiatives, it is one aspect of their work amongst others. This is different from when CAN started, where the support groups were partly marginalised and worked very isolated, thus needing much more networking and moral support. We also aim to have a service around World Aids Day, not only as a memorial service for those, who have died already, but also as a sign of encouragement for those, who are still working in this field. And I am convinced we have not reached yet the peak – the PEFPAR funding is going to get less, and we still have to catch up for quite some wasted years here in South Africa; the adherence will be a topic and a problem in the years to come. Whoever thinks, that HIV and AIDS is dealt with – I think the opposite. We still have a way to go – and if we not take care of this way, we will have to pay a costly price.  Between political declarations of intent and reality is here in South Africa still a big gap ( I guess not only in South Africa)…

HOPE Cape Town, Catholic AIDS Network, the poz initiative for HIV positive priests and clergy  and all the other local initiatives will be needed still for a long time…

Filed under: HIV and AIDS, HIV Prevention, HIV Treatment, HOPE Cape Town Association & Trust, Medical and Research, Politics and Society, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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