A new health minister for South Africa
Well, new South African President Kgalema Motlanthe’s first moves in regards to AIDS give reason for optimism. Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang was removed from her position — though not axed from cabinet entirely — and replaced by Barbara Hogan, a struggle veteran who has long been one of the most outspoken ANC members of parliament on HIV/AIDS issues. The move was immediately hailed by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and other AIDS organizations. On the night of her appointment, the new minister was even serenaded outside her apartment by joyful AIDS activists.Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, the former deputy minister of health, who was fired after clashing with Manto on AIDS policy (though technically she was axed for traveling to Spain for HIV/AIDS meeting without permission) is also back on the scene. Mbeki and Manto not only fired her — they also demanded that she pay back the costs of her trip and tried to get her expelled from the ANC. Last week, she was appointed deputy speaker of parliament. Both moves are positive signs that the new administration will forge a new direction on AIDS — which TAC says killed at least 2 million South Africans while Manto was health minister and Mbeki president.
posted @ 4:26 am