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Zuma's Aids plan boosts South African life expectancy

By Tosin Sulaiman | Nov 29, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 85 ]

South Africa has achieved a “stunning” increase in life expectancy in the last three years due to a government push to roll out anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to people with HIV/AIDS, researchers say

The average South African is now likely to live to the age of 60, a study in the Lancet medical journal said, compared with just 56,5 in 2009 when President Jacob Zuma came to power with promises of a new approach to the country’s HIV/AIDS burden.

Africa’s biggest economy is home to 6 million HIV/AIDS sufferers but under Zuma’s predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, the government was reluctant to provide the life-prolonging drugs, the study said.

Nearly 2 million people are now taking ARVs daily in what is the world’s largest ARV programme.

That total compares with 912,000 in 2009 and just 235,000 three years before that.

Although overall infection rates have stayed constant at around 10% since 2006, the study’s authors said such a dramatic increase in life expectancy was unheard-of.

“There are many factors that contribute to life expectancy but the single most important one was the expansion of the ARV treatment programme,” said Professor Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa and a member of the Lancet South Africa team.

“That increase in life expectancy is nothing short of stunning. You don’t see those kinds of increases in the real world.”

Lead researcher Bongani Mayosi from the University of Cape Town singled out Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for praise in reversing the policies of Mbeki, whose health minister outraged activists by questioning the effectiveness of ARVs and championing the benefits of garlic and beetroot instead.

“We have no doubt that the new administration that came in 2009 was eager to make an improvement on the disastrous record of the first 15 years of the ANC government,” Mayosi said.

South Africa still faced formidable challenges however, particularly in reducing huge racial disparities in housing, employment and access to health services, Mayosi said. Just 10,3% of black South Africans, who make up 80% of the population, have medical insurance, compared with 70,9% for whites, who make up just 10% of the overall 52 million population, the study showed. - Reuters

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COMMENTS [ 85 ]

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The corruption goes on unabated as you guys celebrate; Gedleyihlekisa Bond is scandal prone, every week there is a new scandal.

The R 1.5bn is not a full blown scandal yet but that one is coming, the fuse is lit and soon we will all be complaining about the R 1.5bn government is still going to launder directly or indirectly so Zuma can have his road and of course it won't be tolled.

Nov 30, 2012 9:20 | 0 replies

ManoftheSoil

You shall stay n ur mindset and negative tendencies, no matter how grumpy you get , Momma Zille will never be incharge and I know she is all talk she will fail in all espects expect looking after the farmers.
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Your comments on ANC's performance under Zuma's administratios sir?

Please list both positives and negatives and let's see if perhaps Momma Zille does not deserve a chance given the state our nation finds itself in.

Nov 30, 2012 9:48 | 0 replies

It is good that the SA government in this instance is not a price taker for the tenders of ARV's because African governments were used to paying more than their western counterparts for the same ARV's, which is why Thabo Mbeki was never a favourite of the multinational pharmaceuticals.

Yes people should credit JZ and his minister Dr Motsoaledi for keeping up with the phrase : "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" because for all the things that were working before, the minister did not attempt to change them but focused on those factors that impeded on the health system to work. And at least the minister hasn't been tempted to allow incompeted carde diployment in the health systems, unlike his other counterparts. And let's applaud the health minister and his administrators in that they didn't find it a priority to fund for the operations of JZ's clinic in his compound before funding for ARV's to the entire SA population.

Now we urge JZ to do the same for all facets of his administration.

Nov 30, 2012 9:51 | 0 replies

ManoftheSoil, whose horn?

Nov 30, 2012 9:55 | 0 replies

@Dzel - are you okay baba....how isthat article you posted suppose to help, it can easily be denied, I can also right something like that about ppl I do not like, these journos have their own agenda, remember they are also voters, not realy story here boy, just appreciate they ppl are getting help with ARV rollouts, just cause you have always had yours you dont't want other children to live longer.

Nov 30, 2012 9:57 | 0 replies

ManoftheSoil

This has nothing to do with being 'negative', this is to do with wanting a tiny bit of TRUTH in an article. If the TAC and the NEC hadn't started the antiretroviral roll-out in 2003, we would now be trying to play catch-up. Getting an action started is where the hard pushing comes in, once it is on a roll, it is easy to get it to gain momentum.

I'm not taking anything away from the great work that Doc Aaron has done to keep the ball going faster but I am certainly not going to credit Zuma with single handedly making the initiative work

Nov 30, 2012 9:57 | 0 replies

If it's not tax payers' money bringing these perfect changes whose money will,tell me guys?

Nov 30, 2012 10:0 | 0 replies

Or else the good thing that government could do is to fix the whole health dept and all others will follow..anc is a failure.

Nov 30, 2012 10:1 | 0 replies

i like the way zuma handled this issue, now even the poorest of them all can access the ARVs, unlike in the past years, i dont under stand the politicians who plot the downfall of the other instead of helping eachother to build this beautiful country, it makes me sick.

Nov 30, 2012 10:4 | 0 replies

It can only be amazing how "the negative bunch", Sinudity, MommaC , Solutions and the rest will nenver see anything positive, its okay boys and girls , you can give praise where its due, Zuma took this one by the horn and we shall give praise. You shall stay n ur mindset and negative tendencies, no matter how grumpy you get , Momma Zille will never be incharge and I know she is all talk she will fail in all espects expect looking after the farmers.

Nov 30, 2012 9:40 | 0 replies

The lesser we spend time saying the nama of z---a the better it'll be. I think we should just ignore all these people and focus to something that is nation building not anc pocket's building,

Nov 30, 2012 9:36 | 0 replies