IN QUOTES | David Mabuza calls on politicians, traditional leaders to help in fight against HIV/Aids

02 December 2019 - 13:22 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Deputy president David Mabuza
Deputy president David Mabuza
Image: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

Deputy president and member of the SA National Aids Council (Sanac) David Mabuza delivered a keynote address at the James Motlatsi Stadium in the North West on Sunday, World Aids Day. He spoke about government's progress in fighting the disease. 

Here's what he said in seven quotes:

We're committed 

“As Sanac, we have seen the results of our collaborative efforts in trying to co-ordinate our response to this epidemic and, from day to day, we are recording progress. The dynamic leadership of all sectors that are here on the Sanac is testament of our commitment to place the interests of our communities at centre stage.”

Eshowe's outstanding progress 

“In Eshowe, 90% of the people infected with HIV were diagnosed. They presented themselves and were tested. Ninety-four percent of those diagnosed received treatment and 95% of those on treatment are virally suppressed, which means they are able to work, participate in building the country. This community is the best example. It has exceeded the target we set in 2014, announced by the UNAids.”

Prevention is better than cure 

“All of us must try very hard to prevent this epidemic. It is one thing to test, put people on treatment, take the treatment for a lifetime, but we must be stronger on prevention. We have made progress on male circumcision as an area of prevention, where close to 4-million men were circumcised by the end of March 2019. They also underwent HIV treatment programmes, including prevention counselling.”

Politicians must take responsibility 

“Political leadership and commitment is required from premiers, MECs for health, mayors, local mayors. We must all stand up and ensure that Aids councils are fully functional. We'll be relying on our communities to hold these structures accountable.”

Stop with stereotypes

“Communities must stop stigmatising and discriminating against those infected and affected by HIV and TB. We must mobilise our societies to change their norms, stereotypes and attitudes.”

Traditional leadership must intervene 

“We call on our traditional leadership to deal with patriarchy, as these are the ills that continue to bedevil our nation. These social attitudes, which breed and perpetuate gender-based violence against girls and the elderly, do not represent us and ubuntu. We have committed to protecting the rights of the vulnerable.”

2020 is the year of change 

“By 2020 we want to have screened and tested 14-million people for HIV, TB and STIs (sexually transmitted infections). We want to find and treat at least 7-million people who have hypertension, diabetes and common cancers. We want an additional 2-million HIV-positive people on treatment. By December 2020, we must find and treat at least 80,000 of the 100,000 people that are estimated to have TB.”

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