Wednesday 330

Mbeki killed 365,000

Filed under: Science, Society — Tags: , , — zundel @ pm

Conspiracy theories kill. Science matters. Getting it right saves lives. Getting it wrong cost 365,000 lives, including 35,000 babies needlessly born with HIV.

Lesson learnt yet again in hindsight—too damn often. Treating Mbeki with ‘diplomacy’ may have allowed organizations to work with some South Africans that had HIV and AIDS. But at too high a cost. Mbeki’s bullshit needed fierce and persistent condemnation. Not to persuade him. But condemnation may have helped the voices of reason in South Africa and may have hastened Mbeki’s departure. The death toll becomes millions—from silence.

AIDS: a good example of why science policy matters” by Jonathan M Gitlin in Ars Technica 2008-11-26

This should serve as an abject lesson in why it’s vital for governments to receive effective science and health policy advice.

South Africa is well off compared to its regional neighbors—it had enough money for the former President, Thabo Mbeki, to splash out nearly $100 million on a new Boeing Business Jet. Mbeki claimed poverty when it came to providing his citizens with antiretroviral drugs, however.

A Johannesburg AIDS hospice in 2002 (Joao Silva for The New York Times)

Study Cites Toll of AIDS Policy in South Africa” by Celia W Dugger in The New York Times 2008-11-26

the South African government would have prevented the premature deaths of 365,000 people

South Africa today is home to 5.7 million people who are HIV-positive—more than any other nation, almost one in five adults. More than 900 people a day die here as a result of AIDS, the United Nations estimates.

Estimating the Lost Benefits of Antiretroviral Drug Use in South Africa” (PDF) by Pride Chigwedere, George R Seage III, Sofia Gruskin, Tun-Hou Lee, and M Essex in Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 2008-12-01


1 Comment »

  1. […] Mbeki again. Shit! Again, silence will make it worse rather than […]

    Pingback by not HIV that kills us but the hospital administration « zundel — Tuesday 343 @ am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: