The Democratic Alliance (DA) has raised concerns after revelations that a total of 10,950 HIV/Aids and 1,090 Tuberculosis patients have failed to collect their medication amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
This was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku in an oral reply to Jack Bloom’s questions today at a virtual sitting of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
According to Masuku, the percentage in medicine collection has dropped by 1.4% for TB patients and 19.6% for HIV/Aids patients.
The DA said: “These reductions are of concern because interruptions in medicine will lead to health deterioration and drug-resistance for TB and HIV-Aids patients. Both these diseases claim a large number of lives – there are about 60,000 TB and 70,000 Aids-related deaths in South Africa every year.
“Extra efforts should be made to trace those who have defaulted on their medicine as well as distribute medicines through additional venues so that it is easier for them to be collected at this time.”
The party has urged government to ensure other life-threatening health problems do not increase amid the Covid-19 crisis.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)