IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 193, 6 August 2004
Sunday 22 August 2004
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 193, 6 August 2004


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


NEWS:

AFRICA: Removal of generic drugs from WHO list a wake-up call
TOGO: Battling third highest HIV-rate in West Africa
SOUTH AFRICA: Campaign to create awareness on sexual offences law
SWAZILAND: Rising HIV/AIDS among truckers will impact on costs
SWAZILAND: Rural health "motivators" could ease professional shortage
UGANDA: Envoy laments the burden of conflict, AIDS, orphans in the north
NIGERIA: New plant making ARV drugs opens in Lagos

LINKS:

1. UNFPA AIDS Clock

CONFERENCES/ EVENTS/ RESEARCH/ RESOURCES:



AFRICA: Removal of generic drugs from WHO list a wake-up call

The removal of Indian-manufactured generic antiretroviral (ARV) drugs from the World Health Organisation's (WHO) list of approved HIV medicines this week should be a wake-up call for developing countries with slack regulatory authorities, experts warned.

The three drugs, made by India's Ranbaxy Laboratories, were removed following concerns raised over their biological equivalence to the patented versions.

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TOGO: Battling third highest HIV-rate in West Africa

Togo lies smack bang in the middle of West Africa's main trade and transport corridor and health experts say the tide of people passing through this narrow strip of territory have helped to land it with the third-highest HIV prevalence rate in the region.

According to government statistics, six percent of Togo's five million people are HIV positive, putting the country just behind Cote d'Ivoire with 10 percent and Liberia with an estimated eight percent.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Campaign to create awareness on sexual offences law

South African NGOs involved in gender violence issues are to launch a week-long campaign in Johannesburg on Monday to create public awareness around the Sexual Offences Bill, currently before parliament.

"Since the parliament is in session this month, the awareness campaign is also an attempt to lobby for the bill's enactment," Lisa Vetten of the Johannesburg-based Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation told PlusNews.

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SWAZILAND: Rising HIV/AIDS among truckers will impact on costs

The impact of HIV/AIDS on Swaziland's trucking sector is set to increase the price of food and all other goods transported by road, officials warned this week.

"The [transport] industry must note that by 2005 there will be too few drivers to meet the demand, especially those with the sort of experience that you need to handle expensive rigs," said a report by the Learning Clinic, a South African-based organisation that distributes HIV/AIDS information to the trucking community. The clinic estimated that one out of seven truckers in South Africa had a sexually transmitted disease or was HIV positive.

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SWAZILAND: Rural health "motivators" could ease professional shortage

A critical shortage of health professionals in Swaziland is undermining the public health system's capacity to expand its national antiretroviral (ARV) programme, health officials have warned.

A recent situation analysis carried out by the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed the extent of the problem in a country with one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. The WHO study noted there was an overall lack of staff in key areas of the health sector, resulting in services either being stopped or quality of care being compromised.

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UGANDA: Envoy laments the burden of conflict, AIDS, orphans in the north

A United Nations envoy has deplored the plight of the people in northern Uganda, whom he said had continued to suffer greatly from the effects of an ongoing insurgency, high HIV/AIDS infection rates and large numbers of orphans.

"Northern Uganda is truly under siege, and there has to be a particular emergency response to AIDS [and] to conflict," Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for AIDS in Africa, said.

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NIGERIA: New plant making ARV drugs opens in Lagos

A new plant to manufacture antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for people living with AIDS has opened in Nigeria, thanks to an initiative by Nigerian health professionals working in the United States. Archy Pharmaceuticals Company is the second company to produce ARV drugs in Nigeria.

More details



LINKS:

1. UNFPA AIDS Clock

The United Nations Population Fund's AIDS Clock includes a count of the number of people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS and provides information about the epidemic. Viewers will need to load Flash.


[ENDS]


Recent AFRICA Reports
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 195, 20 August 2004, 20/Aug/04
HIV-positive women speak out, 17/Aug/04
Sexual Offences bill raises many concerns, 13/Aug/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 194, 13 August 2004, 13/Aug/04
Removal of generic drugs from WHO list a wake-up call, 6/Aug/04
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PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:

  • UNAIDS
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  • Health Systems Trust
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