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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 198, 10 September 2004
Monday 11 October 2004
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 198, 10 September 2004

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


SOUTH AFRICA: Traditional medicine gets formal recognition
UGANDA: PMTCT programme in trouble
SOUTH AFRICA: Moving towards marketable microbicides
MADAGASCAR: Youth clinics raise HIV/AIDS awareness
SWAZILAND: Holistic approach to combating HIV/AIDS
MOZAMBIQUE: AIDS threatens development and life expectancy


1. Life Child Initiative (LICHI)



SOUTH AFRICA: Traditional medicine gets formal recognition

Traditional healers in South Africa were formally recognised this week after parliament approved legislation to regulate the industry.

According to the Department of Health, an estimated 70 percent of South Africans consult the country's 200,000 healers. But until now, this sector of healthcare had been largely ignored.

The Traditional Health Practitioner's Bill will ensure that traditional medicine and its practitioners are integrated into the country's healthcare system.

The bill was passed by a near unanimous vote in parliament, with Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang describing it as "groundbreaking legislation."

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UGANDA: PMTCT programme in trouble

Less than four percent of HIV-positive pregnant women in Uganda use Nevirapine to prevent HIV transmission to their babies, despite the drug being free.

Nine out 10 pregnant women visit an antenatal clinic where they are offered treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), but the low uptake has meant that about 25,000 Ugandan babies are born HIV-positive every year.

PMTCT has been operational in 93 regional and district hospitals since 2000. But the PMTCT programme is fraught with problems.

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SOUTH AFRICA: Moving towards marketable microbicides

Microbicides could avert an estimated 2.5 million HIV infections globally over the next three years, according to the South African Medical Research Council (MRC).

Vaginal microbicides that prevent HI-virus transmission are currently being tested in South Africa and could be available for sale in the country as early as 2008, said Neetha Morar, research manager of the MRC's HIV research and prevention unit.

South Africa will be embarking on Phase III product trials in January 2005. The three major clinical trials to be headed by the MRC are part of the largest microbicide prevention programme in the world.

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MADAGASCAR: Youth clinics raise HIV/AIDS awareness

The use of condoms has steadily climbed among Malagasy youth as the government and NGOs increase their efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of unsafe sex.

According to Population Services International (PSI), an American non-profit organisation, safer sex campaigns targeting young people were as important as service delivery.

In January 2001, PSI launched a "franchise" of adolescent reproductive health clinics called TOP Reseau. The clinics, now numbering 83 in four provinces across the country, provide affordable reproductive health services to people aged 15 to 24.

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SWAZILAND: Holistic approach to combating HIV/AIDS

An HIV/AIDS testing and counselling centre that will be the template for other such facilities in Swaziland's urban areas opened this week in the centrally located town of Manzini.

"This is a holistic centre offering many services - that reflects the holistic approach needed for living with HIV-AIDS: counselling, blood testing, nutrition, exercise and all-round physical and mental health, with the added expertise of legal and other kinds," said Rudolph Maziya, national director of the Alliance of Mayors Initiative to Combat AIDS at the Local Level (AMICAALL).

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MOZAMBIQUE: AIDS threatens development and life expectancy

HIV/AIDS is cutting life expectancy in Mozambique and threatening the ongoing reconstruction that has taken place since the 16-year civil war ended in 1992.

According to a Ministry of Health report, life expectancy at birth is now estimated at 38.1 years, compared to 46.4 years without the presence of disease.

More details


1. Life Child Initiative (LICHI) is a community-based NGO working in Uganda to help children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and their caregivers.


Recent AFRICA Reports
HIV/AIDS remains a big child killer,  8/Oct/04
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 202, 8 October 2004,  8/Oct/04
HIV/AIDS care centre not being fully utilised,  8/Oct/04
Using theatre to encourage HIV testing,  6/Oct/04
Vaccine research struggles to find trial participants,  5/Oct/04
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services
Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme
Le Réseau Afrique 2000

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:

  • IRIN
  • Inter Press Service (IPS)
  • Health Systems Trust
  • Health & Development Networks
  • GTZ/Afronets

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