South Africa’s president promised to provide treatment to another 2 million HIV-positive people
Cyril Ramaphosa, who has become South Africa’s president following the resignation of Jacob Zuma on Wednesday night, faces many challenges.
“The time has now arrived to finally implement universal health coverage through National Health Insurance (NHI),” Rampaphosa said, reports the Business Day. “The NHI Bill is now ready to be processed through government and will be submitted to parliament in the next few weeks,” he said.
Key NHI projects targeting society’s most vulnerable people would begin in April, he said.
He also announced that the government would launch a major cancer campaign within the next three months, similar to the government’s massive HIV/AIDS counselling and testing campaign. It would draw on the private sector, he said. “We need to mobilise all resources to fight this disease,” he said.
He also emphasised the government’s commitment to combating SA’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, promising to provide treatment to another two million people by 2020.
SA has the world’s biggest HIV/AIDS burden, with an estimated seven-million people living with the disease. A little over half of them are currently on treatment, according to the most recent estimates from UNAIDS.