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Protesting villagers get their medicine


More than fifty regular patients at the Village Clinic in the OR Tambo District had a sit-in at the clinic when they were told that their Efavirenz tablets – an antiretroviral drug for HIV-positive patients – was not available.

Provincial Treatment Action Campaign co-ordinator Noloyiso Ntamehlo arranged transport for the protestors to St Elizabeth Gateway Clinic where the order for all the clinics in the districts arrive. Two of the protestors were let in to speak to Mrs N Masumpa, who said: "I am on my way to Village Clinic to deliver the treatment, but Efavirenz is not available. I have also been on the phone with the depot in Mthatha and was told by a Mr Dlomo, the dispatcher, that the delivery truck was so full they could not load all the boxes."

Masumpa offered the protestors a week's supply of pills from her stock.

The protestors called their action "The spirit of asijiki", meaning "no turning back". The treatment shortage issue is generally considered a blemish on a clinic that is, otherwise, improving.


Health-e is a news agency that produces news and in-depth analysis for the print and electronic media. Their particular focus is HIV/AIDS, public health and issues regarding health policy and practice in South Africa. They provide print features for newspapers and magazines and well as broadcast packages for national and community radio stations. They also accept commissions. 

Information in this article was accurate in July 10, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.