We will be watchdogs

par Nomfundo Dubula

publié en ligne : 27 septembre 2003

Ce discours a été lu par Nomfundo Dubula de l’ONG sud-africaine Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) lors de la cérémonie de cloture de la CISMA le 26 septembre dernier à Nairobi (Kenya).

This speech was read by Nomfundo Dubula from the south-african NGO Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) during the closing ceremony of the ICASA in Nairobi (Kenya), the 26th september 2003.

My name is Nomfundo Dubula. I am a person living with HIV. I am from the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa and I also represent the Pan African Treatment Access Movement.

I want to say that as communities and people living with HIV we ARE ANGRY. Our people are dying unnecessarily.

African leaders, the ball is on your hands. You have to decide whether you want to lead a continent without people. So, stop playing hide and seek whilst people are dying. The World Health Organisation has declared antiretroviral therapy a state of global emergency and our leaders are still in state of denial.

The Doha and the UNGASS declarations have opened the way to decide about the future of Africa, so, when is your action ? The Doha declaration on health is hope, and it must be implemented. Two years ago, the Abuja declaration promised 15% of the budget on health but up to now that has not happened. How many people must die ?

Please, move from talks to real action. Give women powers to decide and lead and they will overcome this epidemic. African leaders, lead us. Don’t divide people living with HIV, as we all want to assist in this fight. We need CCM’s in each country with positive attitudes towards treatment, specially ARV’s, so that we have effective and unequivocal treatment plans. We need you to speak out about nutrition and not confuse us with the debate about nutrition versus ARVs. Nutrition goes hand in hand with ARVs !

I also want to address the WHO. WHO has promised to give technical assistance in the procurement of drugs. Now we need your assistance in our countries to ensure that cheaper generic drugs reach every country, with or without manufacturing capacity. You also have a key role in ensuring resources for poor countries. The 3 by 5 plan should also ensure that all treatment programmes include treatment literacy efforts. On our side, we commit ourselves in educating our people and ensure adherence. We need real leadership in the implementation of effective strategies to reach the 3 by 5 goal. We will assist you in this effort if you show commitment and independence in prioritizing people’s health over any other interest.

I want to refer to the drug companies, who’s bags are full with profits. Stop squeezing poor Africans which only represent 1.3% of your global market. Don’t delay access by giving exclusive licenses that are only transferring the monopoly to local companies blocking competition. Your diagnostics are still too expensive and inaccessible. Provide low prices and allow our governments to bring us life-saving drugs and the necessary monitoring systems.

I want to say to the donors that they should donate more money to the Global Fund. We welcome the US initiative lead by president Bush. But we want money that is free of hidden agendas. Put more money in the Global Fund and stop blocking our government’s rights to import generic drugs.

IMF and World Bank should cancel the debt, as Africa is fighting for its life. Don’t even pinch the last drop of its blood.

And where was the Global Fund in this conference ? How can you communicate with our brothers and sisters, and what is going on with their countries proposals ? We need you to have a booth in the GNAP+ conference so that you can be visible, and we can ask questions.

The Pan African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM) is fighting for the lives of Africans. So, we will continue to mobilize our people as we did in the court case of the Pharmaceutical companies against the South African Governent.

We will continue to mobilize our people as we South Africans did in the PMTCT court against our government.

We will continue to mobilize our communities to ensure access to treatment and care.

We will continue giving treatment literacy workshops to ensure adherence, promoting VCT, prevent new infections and promote openness.

We will be watchdogs in ensuring real implementation.

Amandla, Amandla,
Power to the people



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