Implementation of AIDS plan could be faster, admits Deputy President

The country could be moving faster to implement the country’€™s new plan to fight HIV/AIDS, conceded the Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka yesterday (Wed Aug 15).

‘€œTo some extent I agree that we could have done some things much faster since the national strategic plan was adopted,’€ said Mlambo-Ngcuka at an SA National Editor’€™s Forum function in Durban.

There had been some ‘€œto-ing and fro-ing with Treasury as the new plan had targets and these needed to be costed.

‘€œBut we have all agreed that the budget doesn’€™t have to be perfect and work doesn’€™t have to stop,’€ said the Deputy President.

Mlambo-Ngcuka said that the government departments that had moved the fastest to develop plans for implementing the new plan were Education, Social Welfare and, to a certain extent, the public service. She made no mention of the Department of Health, which is supposed to be the lead department in the implementation of the new AIDS plan.

The new organisational structure of the SA National AIDS Council (SANAC) had been worked out and posts had been advertised ‘€œand we hope we find the right people but we are finding that not many people are interested in applying’€.

SANAC will be meeting on 10 September where it hopes that a number sectors will present their plans for taking the National Strategic Plan forward.

When asked to comment on the sacking of the deputy health minister, who had played a key role in developing the new AIDS plan, Mlambo-Ngcuka said she would not ‘€œgive you the headlines that you want’€.

‘€œThe government and the department of health will continue to work on HIV and AIDS. Whether from inside or outside government, people will work on things that they feel strongly about. It is important to do so. There isn’€™t a crisis.’€ ‘€“ Health-e News Service.



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