News 24, SA, Angola sign health pact, 29 January 2004

Ngqeleni, Eastern Cape - The health ministers of South Africa and Angola signed an agreement on Thursday to co-operate in combating diseases such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

The pact paves the way for twinning of hospitals in the two countries, technical support to Angola, and the exchange of health professionals and information.

It also includes guidelines for Angolan authorities to refer patients for treatment to South African public sector hospitals, at Angolan expense.

The health department said the agreement was in line with a 1999 Southern African Development Community heads of government commitment to humanitarian assistance for war-ravaged Angola.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at Ngqeleni in the Eastern Cape, South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said the agreement formalised co-operation that already existed between the two countries' health departments.

"As the period of conflict and destabilisation passes, as Africans we are focusing on improving the lives of our people and maintaining stability and development in our continent," she said.

She also handed over about 40 wheelchairs, and hearing aids, to recipients at the Ngqeleni Community Centre, on behalf of the Eastern Cape health department.

She said the state was spending R13m a year on "assistive devices" as part of its policy on free health care for people with disabilities.

 

 

 



   
   

 


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