HIV/Aids – We are all responsible

Jane Sithole, MPL

DA Mpumalanga Legislature Member

Note: This is a member’s statement by Jane Sithole MPL, Democratic Alliance Spokesperson on Health, to the Mpumalanga Provincial legislature, on 28 November 2014, during the Snap Debate on HIV/AIDS.

HIV/Aids – We are all responsible

December is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the response against HIV/AIDS, show our support for people living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate people who have passed on due to this epidemic.

There’s no doubt that more still needs to be done.  South Africa has come a long way and we have a long a way to go.

Just last month, government launched Operation Phakisa, which is primarily aimed to ensure:

  • Our health facilities provide quality health care
  • Eliminate long waiting hours
  • Deal with rude and uncaring health workers
  • Eliminate late delivery or unavailability of medication, especially essential medication.

Our health workers need to understand that all people who visit our health facilities must be treated with dignity, irrespective of their background or social status.

It is the Democratic Alliance’s belief that only when each and every South African knows their health status, we will then be able to win the fight against HIV.

South Africa has adopted the National Development Plan as its blue print for the next 30 years. In Mpumalanga there are so many NGO’s and NPO’s at local level, aiming to improve treatment and support programmes for persons living with HIV/AIDS in their communities. However their work is challenged when government and business does not support these organisations financially or even supply the Home Based care facilities with the basic equipment and things such as latex gloves, etc. This places an unimaginable burden on those who want to help those infected and affected by the pandemic.

We must continue this fight.  This fight needs all of us to work together with NGO’s, NPO’s, civil society and individuals who are either infected or affected, only then can Mpumalanga, South Africa, Africa and the world be HIV/AIDS Free. To Millions of South Africans who have embraced life despite their HIV status, The DA salutes you all!