This compilation of press reports concerning the January, 2003 SADC meeting in Johannesburg was prepared by Lynn (Gannett) Fall in New York City.
|AIDS DISSIDENT'S INVITATION
IOL: MANTO'S LATEST AIDS GAFFE FLOORS ACTIVISTS
| The Star
Wednesday, January 8, 2003
By Lynne Altenroxel
An outspoken Aids dissident who believes that HIV does not cause Aids has been invited, in the name of Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, to address the health ministers' forum of the Southern African Development Community.
Dr Roberto Giraldo, a member of President Thabo Mbeki's Aids Advisory Panel, has confirmed that he is scheduled to speak about "nutritional therapy for the treatment and prevention of Aids" at the event to be held on January 20.
This is the same topic he addressed at a function organised
by health department officials in November, when he told delegates that
Aids was the result of nutritional deficiencies and could be "effectively
prevented, treated and overcome" by a healthy diet.
A list of questions was faxed to the minister on Tuesday but she is on an overseas visit.
Responding to the fax, the health department said: "Presenters
were decided on by the health ministers because of their expertise in,
and extensive knowledge about, their respective fields related to nutrition
Aids activists have been stunned by the move, which comes after two cabinet statements last year indicating an about-turn in the government's Aids policy.
Mark Heywood, spokesperson for the Treatment Action Campaign, said the news was disturbing.
"If they want somebody to speak on nutrition, the world has many experts who could speak without the baggage of the belief that HIV does not cause Aids," he said.
Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, former head of the Medical Research
Council, said: "I find it very strange."
|CAN SA REPUTATION AFFORD ITS HEALTH MINISTER, DA ASKS|
|South African Press Association (SAPA)
Thursday, January 9, 2003
CAPE TOWN: The Democratic Alliance questioned on Thursday if South Africa can afford for Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang to continue as the minister of health.
DA chief whip Douglas Gibson was reacting to reports that the minister had invited a well-known Aids dissident to address a Southern African Development Community (SADC) health ministers' forum.
"The minister is herself an Aids dissident and nothing and nobody seems able to persuade her to accept what the whole of the rest of the world knows: HIV causes Aids," he said.
Dr Roberto Giraldo has been invited by the SADC health sector - which Tshabalala-Msimang chairs - to speak on Aids therapy and treatment at a health ministers' forum later this month.
Gibson said President Thabo Mbeki should re-shuffle his Cabinet to get rid of transport minister Dullah Omar and should seize the opportunity and "rid South Africa of Dr Tshabalala-Msimang".
"If she was given some remote diplomatic posting, her opportunity to harm South Africa's good name and reputation would be lessened.
"Furthermore she could be replaced by a minister who would take the Aids crisis seriously and really care about the millions who are affected.
"Can South Africa afford Dr Tshabalala-Msimang any longer?" he asked.
The DA has also called for Omar to leave his post following the high death toll on South African roads over the holiday period.
A health department spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
|SOUTH AFRICA: ACTIVISTS CHALLENGE INVITATION TO HIV/AIDS DISSIDENT|
IRIN + PLUS NEWS
JOHANNESBURG: South African HIV/AIDS activists have condemned an invitation by Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang to a leading AIDS dissident to address regional health ministers later this month.
"For the health minister to invite someone who has been castigated by the medical profession for his belief that HIV does not cause AIDS only reinforces our suspicion that Tshabalala-Msimang has failed as minister of health," Sipho Mthathi of the Treatment Action Campaign told Plusnews.
Roberto Giraldo has been invited to address the health ministers' forum of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Pretoria on 20 January.
"It is irresponsible of government to give this dissident
Another South African HIV/AIDS lobby group, the National Association of People living With HIV/AIDS (NAPWA) told Plusnews that while the group welcomed Giraldo's views on "nutrition being the key element in effective HIV management", the doctor should not allow his ideas to create confusion for people already struggling to cope with HIV/AIDS.
"Tshabalala-Msimang is creating great confusion among people living with HIV/AIDS by losing herself in the controversy that Giraldo will once again create at this address ... she should be concentrating on the mobilisation of effective HIV/AIDS strategies instead," Mthathi added.
|SADC CONFERENCE ON AIDS, NUTRITION IN JOHANNESBURG|
|South African Press Association (SAPA)
Sunday, January 19, 2003
JOHANNESBURG: The role of nutrition, food supplements and immune boosters in helping people infected with HIV/Aids, will be discussed in Kempton Park on Monday at a two-day conference hosted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Health Department spokesman Sibani Mngadi said the experience of health professionals, including traditional healers, from across the SADC region would be pooled, and the conference hoped to draw up guidelines for the use of food supplements.
The question of Aids and nutrition is particularly topical as several SADC countries face critical food shortages at present.
The conference will be addressed by speakers from the United
One of the invited speakers is Dr Roberto Giraldo, an American Aids dissident whose website (www.robertogiraldo.com) says: "Aids is neither an infectious disease nor is sexually transmitted. It is a toxic-nutritional syndrome caused by the alarming worldwide increment of immunological stressor agents."
Mngadi said Giraldo had been invited as an expert on nutrition, not as an Aids dissident. The conference was "not going to look at the causal link between HIV and Aids".
"The policy of the government is based on the assumption that HIV causes Aids. That is why we spend more than R1-billion a year on infectious diseases, including Aids.
Posted on Mediaweb's Events Calendar
JOHANNESBURG: Health Ministers from 14 Southern Africa Development
Community member states attend a two-day meeting on HIV/Aids and
LOCATION: Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, 120
CONTACT: Jo-Anne Collinge on 082-787-0202
|DISSIDENT'S INVITATION IRKS AIDS ACTIVISTS
HEALTH MINISTER SPARKS CONTROVERSY
Monday, January 20, 2003
By Tamar Kahn, Science Correspondent
CAPE TOWN: AIDS activists yesterday voiced sharp criticism of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang for inviting a prominent AIDS dissident, who believes that AIDS is caused by nutritional deficiencies and not HIV, to address a top-level meeting of regional health ministers in Johannesburg today.
News of Roberto Giraldo's invitation to address a two-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) health ministers meeting on HIV/AIDS and nutrition has renewed speculation that despite two cabinet statements last year indicating that government believed HIV causes AIDS the dissident view still holds sway in senior government circles.
"During every epidemic there are people who resort to superstition and pseudo science. What's disturbing is that Tshabalala-Msimang is giving official sanction to pseudo science and superstition, which is unacceptable," said Treatment Action Campaign spokesman Nathan Geffen.
Democratic Alliance health spokeswoman Sandy Kalyan described the invitation as "an insult to the millions of people infected with HIV/AIDS".
"This proves that the government has not embarked on a new course in the fight against AIDS."
Giraldo, who was a member of President Thabo Mbeki's AIDS Advisory Panel, reportedly told a meeting of health department officials last year that AIDS was caused by nutritional deficiencies and could be overcome by a healthy diet.
His website expounds on his view that AIDS is a "toxic and nutritional syndrome caused by the alarming worldwide increment of immunological stressor agents (oxidizing agents)".
Giraldo also argues that antiretroviral medicines, which are used to combat HIV and delay the onset of AIDS, can induce AIDS.
Asked to comment on whether Giraldo's publicised appearance at the SADC health minister's forum might damage not only SA's but also the SADC's standing in the international community, health department spokesman Sibani Mngadi said Giraldo had been invited because of his expertise as a nutritionist.
"The purpose of this meeting is very clear. It (was) not convened to question any causal link between HIV and AIDS, but to look specifically at nutrition and its role in improving the condition of people living with HIV/AIDS.
"SA's position is very clear HIV causes AIDS," he said.
Kalyan also lashed out at Deputy Health Minister Renier Schoeman, accusing him of keeping silent on the Giraldo issue to safeguard his position.
Schoeman refused to be drawn on the invitation, saying that he believed the matter had been dealt with at SADC level.
|SHOCK OVER DISSIDENT'S INVITATION
IOL: MANTO HOSTS AIDS DISSIDENT DESPITE CRITICISM
|The Mercury (page 5)
Monday, January 20 2003, 05:59
By Lynne Altenroxel
Despite severe criticism from scientists and Aids activists, Aids dissident Roberto Giraldo will be hosted in South Africa by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang on Monday.
Giraldo is scheduled to address a meeting of health ministers from the Southern African Development Community on the role of nutrition in fighting the Aids epidemic.
As a dissident, Giraldo believes that HIV does not cause Aids, but rather that Aids is a syndrome caused by nutritional deficiencies.
It is the second time in two months that he will be speaking in South Africa on his widely discredited views.
On November 28 last year he addressed a function organised by health department officials and told delegates that Aids was the result of nutritional deficiencies and could be "effectively prevented, treated and overcome" by a healthy diet.
"However, it seems that propaganda spread by pharmaceutical companies to commercialise antiretroviral medications has prevented these ideas from being widely accepted, despite the toxicity of these medications," Giraldo said.
News of Giraldo's appearance at the SADC event has shocked scientists and Aids activists.
In a statement released by the department of health, which confirmed Giraldo's attendance, officials said: "The aim of the meeting is to discuss the role of nutrition, food supplements and immune boosters in improving the health of people living with HIV and Aids in the SADC region that has become the epicentre of this epidemic."
The statement described Giraldo as "a specialist in nutrition".
Other speakers include the Medical Research Council's Motlalepula
Matshabisa and the University of Botswana's Modisa Sekhamo
|INVITATION TO AIDS DISSIDENT SPARKS SHOCK, OUTRAGE|
|The Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern
Monday, January 20, 2003
Despite severe criticism from scientists and Aids activists alike, Health Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang will host Aids dissident Dr Roberto Giraldo in South Africa today.
Giraldo is scheduled to address a meeting of health ministers from the South African Development Community (SADC) on the role of nutrition in fighting the Aids epidemic.
As a dissident, Giraldo believes that HIV does not cause Aids, but rather that it is a syndrome caused by nutritional deficiencies.
News of Giraldo's involvement at the SADC event has shocked scientists and Aids activists, and renewed speculation that despite two cabinet statements last year indicating that government believed that HIV causes Aids, the dissident view still holds sway in senior government circles. Tshabalala-Msimang's decision has been condemned as "grossly insensitive".
"During every epidemic there are people who resort to superstition and pseudo science. What's disturbing is that Tshabalala-Msimang is giving official sanction to pseudo science and superstition, which is unacceptable," said Treatment Action Campaign spokesperson Nathan Geffen.
Sandy Kalyan, Democratic Alliance health spokesperson said, "This proves that the government has not embarked on a new course in the fight against Aids."
A prominent Aids scientist, who wished to remain anonymous, said such an invitation was an "insult" to the millions living with HIV/Aids.
"Quite frankly, it's appalling," he said, "particularly at this delicate stage when we are holding our breath waiting for the government to roll out its treatment plan for the country. What sort of message will this send out now?"
The two-day conference has been moved from Pretoria to Johannesburg where a two-pronged debate will look into whether infected people can rely only on nutrition to improve their quality of health, and the role of antiretrovirals in the fight against HIV/Aids.
Giraldo earlier horrified Aids scientists when he suggested that the sexual transmission of Aids from one person to another was an assumption made without scientific validation.
Adding further fuel to the fire, Giraldo also argued that propaganda spread by pharmaceutical companies to commercialise antiretroviral medications prevented ideas relating to nutrition from being widely accepted.
Stephen Lewis, the UN special envoy for HIV/Aids in southern Africa, has been outspoken about the forum and hit out at the dissident view.
"The UN repudiates any proposition claiming that HIV does not cause Aids and that heterosexual transmission is not part of the spread of the disease. The UN simply gives these views no credibility whatsoever."
|HEALTH MINISTER DEFENDS SADC CONFERENCE SPEAKER|
|702 Talk Radio
Monday, January 20, 2003
Health Minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, has defended an invitation extended to controversial AIDS dissident, Dr Roberto Giraldo, to address a SADC conference on nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
Giraldo, who believes that HIV does not cause AIDS, told the conference today the virus can be combatted by eating a healthy diet.
The gathering is being held in Kempton Park.
|MALNUTRITION KEY TO AIDS, SADC TOLD|
|SABC News / South African Press Association (SAPA)
Monday, January 20, 2003, 17:30
[ARTICLE IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN AUDIO CLIP AND A VIDEO CLIP, AND ALSO FEATURES A PHOTO OF DR. GIRALDO.]
"No matter what the role of HIV is, malnutrition is in the centre of Aids," a Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministerial meeting was told today.
Dr Roberto Giraldo, who addressed the SADC meeting, is an American physician whose web site says: "Aids is neither an infectious disease nor is sexually transmitted. It is a toxic-nutritional syndrome caused by the alarming worldwide increment of immunological stressor agents."
Giraldo was more circumspect than that in his address to today's meeting on Aids and nutrition. Throughout his speech he emphasised the similarities between Aids and the symptoms of malnutrition.
He also emphasised the similarities between Aids and long-known tropical diseases. He said adequate vitamins in the diet were very important, saying that HIV-positive gay men with adequate vitamin A intake "never progressed to Aids", while those with a vitamin A deficiency did get Aids.
Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the Health Minister and the chairperson of the meeting, handed over the chair to Phetsile Dlamini, the Swazi Health Minister, for the session addressed by Giraldo and Dr MH Gotink of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).
Gotink in his address conceded that different researchers could reach different conclusions from the same data. "That is part of the scientific debate." He emphasised that Unicef agreed about the importance of vitamin intake, and had done for 20 years. Unicef shared Giraldo's views on the importance of breast-feeding.
However, Gotink, speaking after his address, also said: "Orthodox medicine does not believe, it isn't a religion, but has concluded that there is a link between the HI virus, and the onset of Aids, and the onset of death. That is the difference between orthodox medicine and the dissident view."
|AIDS DISSIDENT'S VIEWS APPLAUDED
IOL: RAVE REVIEWS FOR MANTO'S AIDS DISSIDENT
Monday, January 20, 2003
By Nomusa Cembi
JOHANNESBURG: Good nutrition and adequate vitamin levels are enough to prevent the development of Aids in HIV-positive people, says Aids dissident Dr Roberto Giraldo.
Addressing a conference of SADC health ministers yesterday, Giraldo, a member of President Mbeki's Aids panel, received resounding applause.
Choosing to steer clear of his stance, which is well documented in his website where he disputes that HIV causes Aids, Giraldo stuck to the issue of nutrition.
He made numerous references to scientific research that had shown how the deficiency of certain vitamins in the system was associated with a decline in the CD-4 count.
Quoting research from the Harvard School of Public Health, he said: "The higher rate of HIV progression and vertical transmission in developing countries coincides with similarly higher rates of malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies, indicating that HIV infection may be modified by nutritional status."
Responding to the speech, United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) representative, Dr Narinus Gotink, told reporters that delegates had probably agreed more than they had expected with Giraldo. He also complimented Giraldo on the number of scientific references he had quoted.
Biochemist Nceba Gqaleni, from the University of Natal, said he had found Giraldo's paper to have been well researched. "My understanding of his paper was that we should all have a good nutrition status. By doing that, we will be reducing the chances of progression to Aids. At the moment, we don't have a cure, so I feel people should therefore take the signal that one can manage Aids with proper nutrition," he said.
On Giraldo's presence at the conference, health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said: "He is an immunologist, epidemiologist and nutritionist. These are the skills we are tapping into. It is correct that we should be looking into alternative remedies."
Giraldo maintained that nutrition could not change people's HIV status from positive to negative, but he said an optimal nutritional status, as well as adequate vitamin levels, were known to be, by themselves, enough to prevent the development of Aids in HIV positive people.
A person living with HIV who made a presentation during the conference, Ernest Saila, said he agreed with Giraldo.
Saila, who has been living with HIV for 13 years, said he had been using vitamin supplements for eight to nine years.
During his years with the virus his wife has had an HIV-negative baby. "By taking Vitamin A, I can proudly say I have a healthy baby," he said.
Bunmi Makinwa, of the United Nations Aids agency UNAids, told the meeting that HIV/Aids "directly impacts food security and nutrition for individuals, households and communities".
Seven million agricultural workers had succumbed to Aids in 25 African countries since 1985.
Makinwa said an Aids-related death in a farm household caused crop output to plummet — often by up to 60%.
|AIDS DISSIDENT STIRS CONTROVERSY IN SOUTH AFRICA|
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
[ARTICLE IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN AUDIO CLIP, AND ALSO FEATURES A PHOTO OF DR. GIRALDO]
Activists criticised South Africa's health minister for inviting a doctor who believes person-to-person transmission of Aids is a myth to deliver a keynote address to regional health officials yesterday.
Roberto Giraldo, who was the highest profile speaker at the meeting of health ministers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Johannesburg, acts as an adviser to President Thabo Mbeki.
South Africa has the world's highest caseload of the disease. Mbeki's past public questioning of the HIV/Aids link has raised eyebrows internationally. The South African government's reluctance to provide drugs that target the HI-virus to the infected has angered many at home.
Aids activists had fresh criticism for his government yesterday, singling out MantoTshabalala-Msimang, the South African Health Minister, for giving Giraldo a platform for his controversial views, while opposition critics have called for a new health minister. "The minister is herself an Aids dissident and nothing and nobody seems to be able to persuade her to accept what the whole of the rest of the world knows: HIV causes Aids," Douglas Gibson, the opposition Democratic Alliance's chief whip, said last week.
The health minister defended her invitation to Giraldo, saying his credentials were "impeccable" and that people should be open to all views in the fight against Aids.
POVERTY AT HEART OF THE DISEASE
Giraldo said: "The transmission of Aids from person to person is a myth. The homosexual transmission of the epidemic in western countries, as well as the heterosexual transmission in Africa is an assumption made without any scientific validation." Giraldo told the health ministers that malnutrition and poverty were at the heart of the disease which has infected nearly 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa.
"No matter what the debate might be on the role of HIV in Aids, malnourishment is at the centre of its progression. People with vitamin deficiencies progress to full-blown Aids faster and people with a poor diet will also move to Aids faster," he said.
The two-day conference organised by the 14-member SADC is looking at the role of nutrition, food supplements and immune boosters to help people living with HIV/Aids. Giraldo said herbs, such as the African potato, or even garlic, could enhance immune systems and he urged African governments to preach simple well-balanced diets for their people as part of the campaign against Aids.
Of the estimated 42 million people worldwide infected with HIV, almost 30 million live in sub-Saharan Africa, most far from the reach of medical treatments which might prolong their lives.
|HEALTH MINISTER SAYS DR GIRALDO "SAVED HER SKIN"|
|702 Talk Radio –
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang says controversial AIDS dissident, Dr Roberto Giraldo, has, in her words, "saved her skin".
AIDS lobby groups were outraged when the minister invited Giraldo to address a SADC conference on nutrition and HIV/AIDS.
But Tshabalala-Msimang says his advice to the delegates has vindicated her decision.
|CONTROVERSIAL AIDS DISSIDENT SAYS HEALTH MINISTER SHARES HIS VIEWS|
|702 Talk Radio –
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
Controversial AIDS dissident, Dr Roberto Giraldo, says Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang shares his view that AIDS is not a death sentence.
Giraldo, who is on President Thabo Mbeki's AIDS panel, believes that HIV does not cause AIDS.
He says an HIV-positive person does not have to take anti-retroviral drugs if he's eating the right foods.
|TSHABALALA-MSIMANG WON'T COMMENT ON GIRALDO'S CLAIMS THAT SHE IS
ALSO AN AIDS DISSIDENT
IOL: MANTO SUPPORTS MY CLAIMS, SAYS AIDS DISSIDENT
The Cape Times
Aids dissident Roberto Giraldo, in South Africa for the second time in two months to talk to health officials, says Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang agrees with his controversial views. But the minister of health denies this.
In an interview with John Robbie on Radio 702 yesterday, Giraldo argued that Tshabalala-Msimang agreed with him that Aids was not a death sentence and could be cured by following a correct diet.
Giraldo, who has given a talk on HIV and nutrition to the health ministers of the 14 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries during his latest visit, also claimed that the 14 ministers believed correct diet could cure Aids.
During the live broadcast, Robbie asked whether Tshabalala-Msimang "believes that HIV/Aids does not necessarily lead to death and that, if nutrition and diet (are) correct, people will not die?"
Giraldo responded: "Yes. Yes. Yes. She agrees in that one with us. Not on everything that we are saying. But with that one, she agrees."
A transcript of part of the interview shows Robbie asked:
Giraldo: "Um, our views on treatment and prevention, yes."
JR: Does she believe that diet and supplements can cure Aids?
RG: Yes, no doubt about it. And not only she, all the ministers who were on SADC. It is not a problem of believing. This is not a religious thing. It's to see the scientific evidence.
JR: Let me be clear on this now. Our minister of health believes that HIV/Aids does not necessarily lead to death and, if nutrition and diet (are) correct, people will not die?
RG: Yes. Yes. Yes. She agrees in that one with us. Not on everything that we are saying. But with that one, she agrees."
JR: Does she agree with your contention that anti-retrovirals are not necessary then?
GR: No. No. No. We didn't have a chance to discuss that and I don't know her views on that.
JR: But you definitely are saying for the record that our minister of health agrees that HIV/Aids is not a death sentence as long as diet and supplements are present?
GR: Yes. Yes. No doubt about it.
In response yesterday, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said she was not going to respond to the comments made by Giraldo on radio.
"I didn't ask Dr Giraldo to speak on my behalf," said Tshabalala-Msimang."I am not responding to what he said. He didn't tell me he was going to have an interview."
|MSIMANG UNDER FIRE OVER GIRALDO INVITE|
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
[ARTICLE IS ACCOMPANIED BY AN AUDIO CLIP.]
Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the Health Minister, is again under pressure for inviting leading Aids dissident Dr Roberto Giraldo to a SADC health conference in South Africa after statements by him that Aids is not caused by promiscuity or sex. The regional health ministers have been meeting for the past two days to discuss nutrition and Aids.
Giraldo also told delegates in Boksburg on the East Rand that a healthy diet can halt the progression of HIV to full blown Aids. He says the cause of Aids in Europe and America is completely different from Africa.
TRADITIONAL METHODS TO BE PROMOTED
Yesterday, SADC health ministers agreed to promote the use of traditional foods and medicines in an effort to curb famine and the Aids pandemic gripping the region. Nutritionists who addressed the meeting highlighted that foods like the African potato and garlic help boost the immune system of people living with HIV/Aids.
A technical committee is to meet within three months to establish a list of traditional products for use in government health interventions
|MANTO SE SWYE|
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
SELFS wanneer sy geen kommentaar lewer nie, wek dr. Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, minister van gesondheid, se stellings oor vigs kommer.
Dinsdag het dr. Roberto Giraldo, 'n vigsafvallige, in 'n radio-onderhoud gesê Tshabalala-Msimang stem saam met hom dat vigs nie dodelik is nie en dat die korrekte dieet selfs kan voorkom dat MIV-positiewe mense sterf.
Op haar beurt het Tshabalala-Msimang gesê sy gaan nie hierop reageer nie. Sy kla wel dat Giraldo haar nie in kennis gestel het van sy radio-onderhoud nie.
Wat op aarde moet Suid-Afrikaners hieruit aflei? Dat Tshabalala-Msimang heimlik saamstem dat vigs nie dodelik is nie? Dat sy reken Giraldo - 'n Colombiaanse burger - die groen lig van haar moet kry om met die pers te praat?
Tshabalala-Msimang is die kabinetsminister met waarskynlik die stramste verhouding met die media. Hierdie jongste poging van haar tot "geen kommentaar" onderstreep hoekom.
Haar uitsprake (en helaas nou haar stilswyes ook) het 'n ongekende vermoë om verwarring te saai waar eensgesindheid moet wees en mense te verdeel wanneer hulle verenig moet wees.
Tshabalala-Msimang se onbeholpenheid speel hom af teen 'n skrikwekkende werklikheid. Soos een buitelandse joernalis dit gestel het, tans word daar elke jaar 150 000 babas in Suid-Afrika gebore om dood te gaan. Weens vigs.
Of soos die Wêreld-Gesondheidsorganisasie gister toevallig gewaarsku het, 12 miljoen mense in Suider-Afrika (20% van die streek se bevolking) kan voortydig sterf. Weens vigs.
Suid-Afrika kan nie meer bekostig om te wonder oor presies wat Tshabalala-Msimang sê of nie sê nie.
Hulle wil weet wat sy dink. Bowenal, hulle wil weet wat sy doen om hierdie ramp te beveg.
Roberto A. Giraldo