National Assembly: 24 November 2011
I would like to dedicate
my speech to all those who have passed away from HIV/AIDS and TB
related illnesses. Furthermore, I salute all those that are
infected and affected by the viruses.
Mr Speaker, AIDS is a story often told by
numbers. 40 million infected with HIV. Nearly 4.5 million this
year alone. 12 million orphans in Africa. 8,000 deaths and 6,000
new infections every single day. In some places, 90% of those
with HIV do not know they have it. And we just learned that AIDS
is set to become the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide in the
They are staggering, these numbers, and they
help us understand the magnitude of this pandemic. But when
repeated by themselves, statistics can also numb - they can hide
the individual stories and tragedies.
As we remember those infected and affected, we
as leaders need to be re-energized to show political support and
ensure that we do the right thing! Not just words, not just
symbolism but action. We should work with drug companies to
reduce the costs of generic anti-retroviral drugs, and work with
developing nations to help them build the health infrastructure
that's necessary to get sick people treated - this means more
money for hospitals and medical equipment, and more training for
nurses and doctors.
We need a renewed emphasis on nutrition. Right
now we're finding out that there are people who are on the
drugs, who are getting treatment, who are still dying because
they don't have any food to eat. This is inexcusable -
especially in countries that have sufficient food supplies.
Honourable Speaker the Inkatha Freedom Party
supports all efforts to reduce and eradicate the scourge of HIV
and tuberculosis from our land and continent.
People must come forward and be tested. The
time for silence is over.
We need to deal with HIV Aids and TB like any other
illnesses. Let us take our cue from the President of the IFP,
let us rise up, remove the veil and be truthful to ourselves.
I thank you.
Contact: Ms Hilda Msweli MP, 072 513 1833.