South African Deputy Health Minister Shown The Door

by Medindia Content Team on  August 13, 2007 at 3:46 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
South African Deputy Health Minister Shown The Door
Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge, South Africa's former deputy health minister alleges she has been sacked for doing her job.

Addressing the media in the wake of her dismissal, Ms Madlala-Routledge said that she had been fired for going on an unauthorized trip to a Spanish AIDS conference and for criticizing hospital conditions. Ms Madlala-Routledge maintained that it was her duty to respond quickly to reports that babies were dying in a maternity hospital.

Her sacking has been condemned by Aids activists and the opposition as a setback in the fight against HIV. In South Africa, around 5.5 million citizens are HIV-positive - more than in any other country.

In her first comments since her sacking, Ms Madlala-Routledge also said it was a known fact that there had been differences of opinion between her and Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang.

The health minister is known as Dr Beetroot after telling people with HIV to eat beetroot and garlic, while expressing doubts about the efficacy of anti-retroviral drugs.Ms Madlala-Routledge said that she had criticized the minister's stance two years ago.

"She [Dr Tshabalala-Msimang] had said to me: 'I will fix you' and maybe she has fixed me," Ms Madlala-Routledge was quoted at a news conference.

Meanwhile, this has been denied by Dr Tshabalala-Msimang's office. "No such statement was ever made," the department of health, said.

Ms Madlala-Routledge denied local media reports that she had defied President Thabo Mbeki by going to Madrid with her son and a consultant, at a cost of 160,000 rand ($22,000). "I acted in good faith in the belief that our president had approved the trip."

Ms Madlala-Routledge says that in spite of her dismissal, she hopes to remain part of the campaign against HIV/Aids. No official reason has been given for her sacking.

Source: Medindia

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