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SOUTH AFRICA: Health Minister easy with IMC

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

JOHANNESBURG, 11 September (PLUSNEWS) - South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has dismissed reports that she had been 'sidelined' after a cabinet decision to reinforce its interministerial committee (IMC) on HIV/AIDS.

Deputy-President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka was brought in as a damage control measure after numerous ministers voiced concern that Tshabalala-Msimang had been diverting focus from the government's anti-AIDS strategies.

Tshabalala-Msimang has consistently drawn international criticism for supporting the views of well-known AIDS dissidents, and her controversial promotion of garlic, beetroot and the African potato as effective means of treating HIV/AIDS.

However, the health minister maintained she was part of cabinet discussions and did not feel threatened in any way.

"The establishment of the IMC is not a new thing, we have had one before. It probably wasn't functioning as well as it should have functioned [but] I have always been part of it, so I welcome its reinforcement," Tshabalala Msimang told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) on Sunday.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Activists welcome ambitious new AIDS plan,  15/Mar/07
PEPFAR scores well on AIDS treatment ,  14/Mar/07
Study highlights alarming HIV incidence,  14/Mar/07
Condom application given a hand ,  19/Feb/07
A true test of love on Valentine's Day,  14/Feb/07
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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