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South African health workers welcome HIV/AIDS drug decision

12 April 2013
one yellow pill among many grey ones
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) has welcomed the decision by the Department of Health to launch the roll out of the Fixed Dose Combination pill (ARV), and hopes this reaches as many patients as is possible in the near future.

This is one of the many positive strides taken by the South African government towards ensuring the realisation of the goal of a universal access to quality health, as it will be more convenient for patients.

While the country constitutes 25% of HIV/AIDS cases in the world despite its population making up a mere one percent of the world population, the majority of those infected by the disease are in the lowest margin of the economic ladder and don’t have means to sustain and afford the demand for food intake that goes with taking the pills.  
Instead of the former treatment involving three pills per day, patients will now be able to take only one. This will be a welcome relief to the 180 000 patients that will be on the programme, and will go a long way in ensuring patients follow the treatment.        
Access to quality health in developing countries has been in accordance with patients' socio-economic status, and not based on the need for care. This intervention is one step towards breaking this cycle.  
The fact that it will also cost government less to buy this drug will hopefully result in the increase of a number of people covered, as we currently have only 1.9 million people on the ARV programme.    
Source: Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)

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