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
was becoming 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.

TAC Electronic Newsletter

28 May 2006



To subscribe: email and respond to the confirmation email.
To unsubscribe: email and respond to the confirmation email.

To support TAC's work, please make a donation online by going to:

Joint statement by the Alliance for Children's Entitlement to Social Security and the Treatment Action Campaign on the death of four babies at Cecilia Makiwane Hospital

On Saturday 20 May 2006, four new-born babies died due to a power failure in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Cecilia Makhiwane, a hospital in East London, Eastern Cape Province. The hospital is one of the oldest in the province.

Several reports have described the dire state of the hospital, with little action from hospital management to address its problems. There is a human resources crisis with severe shortages of doctors, nurses and specialists. The hospital also has outdated equipment. A 2002 report by MINMEC identified various problems, which have not been fixed. A further audit in 2005 also identified the same problems.

By law, all hospitals, especially ICUs, must have a backup source of energy so that if the power supply fails, it does not lead to unnecessary deaths of patients in need of constant life-support.

It has been reported that the babies were in incubators and that when a problem was recognised by the nurses, parents were called to the hospital. Thirty minutes after arrival, the parents were called to ICU and told by nurses to do anything they can to keep their babies warm. The parents say that they were not informed that a power-failure had occurred and that the hospital did not have a backup plan. The first baby died at 3pm and the last one at 8pm.

Hospital CEO Mr Vuyo Musani and Provincial MEC Jajula have refused to comment thus far. When the families asked about autopsies to establish cause of death, they were told to pay R 55.

We urge the Hospital to:

To the Provincial MEC for health, we ask that she:

The TAC Eastern Cape Office is organising various actions to highlight the problems of Cecilia Makiwane Hospital.

For further information contact:

(Sources: Daily Dispatch, communication with hospital users)


Reminder: March to UN offices and Union buildings in Pretoria on Tuesday 30 May 2006

Click here for full statement.