This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from
December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's
website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
increasingly hard to find important documents.
The menu items have
been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the
documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this
site as obtained from the Internet Archive.
The period covered by
the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience
campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence
and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.
INAUGURAL LAUNCH OF THE JOINT CIVIL SOCIETY MONITORING AND EVALUATION FORUM OF THE OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR COMPREHENSIVE HIV AND AIDS CARE, MANAGEMENT AND TREATMENT FOR SOUTH AFRICA (THE FORUM)
SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION AND RESOLUTIONS TAKEN ON 7 SEPTEMBER 2004 IN POLOKWANE, LIMPOPOReleased by AIDS Law Project (ALP), Centre for Health Policy (CHP), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM), Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA), Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC), Anglo American, Southern African HIV Clinicians Society (SAHCS), UCT School of Public Health and Family Medicine and Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
13 September 2004
Introduction:On 7 September 2004, a number of civil society organisations launched a joint civil society monitoring forum (the forum) in Polokwane, Limpopo. The forum aims to assist with the monitoring and assessment of the implementation of the Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment for South Africa (the Operational Plan) from a public health and human rights perspective. Its objective is to provide government and the public generally with an ongoing and accurate assessment of the programme’s implementation, to act as an early warning system for problems, and to help communicate successes. It would like to build a constructive relationship with national and provincial health departments, and in particular the programme’s recently appointed manager, Dr David Kalumba.
It is currently composed of the following civil society organisations:
- AIDS Law Project (ALP),
- Centre for Health Policy (CHP),
- Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF),
- Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM),
- Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA),
- Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC),
- Anglo American,
- Southern African HIV Clinicians Society (SAHCS),
- UCT School of Public Health and Family Medicine and
- Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).
These organisations do not represent a closed list of members. The forum is open to any organisation that is committed to the implementation of the Operational Plan. The forum therefore invites and encourages civil society organisations to join and/or participate in its work.
Preamble:The goal of the forum and its common objectives are
- to monitor and assist with the effective and efficient implementation of the Operational Plan from a public health and human rights perspective;
- to attempt to redress the inequities in access between the private and public health sectors; and
- to address issues affecting access to ARV treatment in both the public and private sector across the country.
The forum commits to ensure that people’s human rights are respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled. It aims to assist government with the acceleration of the implementation of the Operational Plan by providing vital information on treatment uptake and problems experienced so that optimal patient targets can be reached within reasonable time-periods. The forum hopes that through the provision of accurate and timely information it will assist government with reaching its objective.
The initial focus of the forum on patient targets is particularly important after the Minister of Health’s recent announcement that the patient targets for 2005 (the previous 2004 targets) are unlikely to be reached. The forum reaffirmed the importance of meeting patient targets that were set by Cabinet in November 2003 when it adopted the Operational Plan.
The forum is not however just focused on patient numbers. We are concerned that the introduction of ARVs must be done in a manner that strengthens health services and transforms our national response to the HIV epidemic into a much more effective response.
The forum noted that the recently released strategic priorities of the Department of Health for 2004-2009, identifies the ‘acceleration’ of the Operational Plan as a key activity under its priority to improve the management of communicable and non-communicable diseases. The forum hopes that through the provision of accurate and timely information it will assist government with reaching its objective.
At its first meeting, the forum considered reports about aspects of the implementation of the Operational Plan at both a national and provincial level. In addition, detailed reports on the Eastern Cape and Limpopo were presented and discussed.
Findings:Close to 8 000 people are now on ARV treatment at public facilities nationally (this figure is about 2 000 more than when the TAC and the ALP issued their joint report in July 2004) and concurs with the figure announced by the Minister of Health. The forum welcomes the progress made in scaling up treatment in some provinces and is encouraged by the efforts and determination of health care workers (HCWs) and some provincial governments in accelerating the implementation of the Operational Plan.
However, the forum recognised that in several provinces, not enough is being done to ensure access to ARV treatment for people who need treatment.
Current patient numbersThe following figures are best estimates of the numbers of patients receiving ARV treatment in public health facilities nationally– they do not include gender, age or adult-child breakdowns. However, it should be noted that the majority of patients are adults.
13 September 2004
|Operational Plan March 2004 target (Revised for 2005)
|Numbers on treatment
(Adults and children)
Not more than 200
8 or 9 SITES
plus MSF 380