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Tuesday, December 1st, 2009   7:13 am | Author: Isabelle | Education, Health/Medical, Life, Politics/Government |
Tags: AIDS, Mbeki, South Africa, Zuma
South Africa is planning to offer free AIDS drugs to children infected with the disease.
This is after being governed for years by President Thabo Mbeki, who denied the link between HIV and AIDS. According to a study by Harvard this resulted in over 300,000 premature deaths.
Approximately 1 in 9 people in South Africa are infected with HIV, the highest number in the world.
Last year Mbeki was ousted and was replaced by Jacob Zuma, who has compared the fight against AIDS to the fight against apartheid. During a speech today he said ’At another moment in our history, in another context, the liberation movement observed that the time comes in the life of any nation when there remain only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come in our struggle to overcome AIDS. Let us declare now, as we declared then, that we shall not submit.”
It is heartbreaking that it took so long for South Africa to start doing the right thing.
We see this situation over and over again when “leaders” with their own agendas or pushing the agenda of special interests or because they lack knowledge and understanding stand in the way of progress, sometimes resulting in death.
We saw this in South Africa with AIDS. We saw this with stem cell research. We are seeing this with climate change and clean energy.
We need leaders with vision. We need leaders who understand and care about the implications of their actions.