Western Cape Welcomes National Treatment Plan: Province on Track to Provide Anti-Retrovirals
"Today marks an important turning point in the South African national battle against HIV/Aids - we are now shifting into high gear." These were the words of Western Cape Premier, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, reacting to the decision of the National Cabinet today to approve the operational plan for the comprehensive treatment of HIV/Aids - including anti-retroviral treatments. "The Government and the people of the Western Cape welcome this decision as very good news - both for people living with Aids and for the country as a whole."
Addressing the issue of anti-retrovirals, the Premier added: "A comprehensive approach to fighting HIV/Aids must include prevention, care and treatment. No Aids programme is complete without anti-retrovirals and the decision today to roll out these treatments across South Africa adds a critical weapon to the armaments of our health-care professionals."
"The Western Cape is pleased to have been able to play a constructive part in the proposal that was submitted to the National Cabinet and approved today," said Western Cape Health Minister, Piet Meyer. "A lot of the ground-breaking work that has been undertaken in our Western Cape communities was used in developing the national plan. With more than three years of anti-retroviral treatment experience in the province, and with the hard data about compliance rates, treatment regimens, counselling and costing, the Western Cape was in an unique position to assist with advice. "
"With the announcement last week by the National Minister of Finance of an additional R1,9 billion to fund anti-retroviral treatments, and the recent drop in treatment prices to just more than R80 per patient per month, it is clear that South Africa is now positioned to take major strides forward in the battle," said the Premier. "Combined with the in-principle approval by the Global Fund of up to a further R455 million for our efforts in the Western Cape we are now set to begin a much wider roll-out of these live-saving treatments in our province."
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