Campaigners yesterday condemned remarks by South Africa's health minister, who made clear her preference for the health-giving properties of garlic, lemon, olive oil and beetroot over the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/360/14476_smoking.html ' target=_blank>drugs that the World Health Organisation wants provided to save lives in the population worst-hit by Aids in the world.
Manto Tshabalala-Msimang told a news conference in Cape Town that the government would not be pressured into meeting targets set by the WHO and UNAIDS, the joint UN programme on the disease. Far too little was known about the side effects, she said, echoing comments some years ago by President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/diplomatic/2002/07/18/32723.html ' target=_blank>Thabo Mbeki, who doubted whether HIV caused Aids.
Only 700,000 people in developing countries are so far on treatment. The WHO has identified South Africa as one of the countries that could derail the programme. It has the highest number of people with the virus in the world - 5.3 million - and between 600 and 1,000 people die of Aids every day, publishes the Guardian Unlimited.
According to the IOL, at the briefing, Tshabalala-Msimang said people were dying as a result of the toxic side effects of anti-retrovirals, and disputed her own department's figures for the number of people on treatment.