Resignation of SA health minister sought

September 6, 2006

Pressure is mounting on South Africa's Health Minister to resign for suggesting garlic, lemons and African potatoes as alternative HIV treatment.

The BBC reports more than 60 international experts on HIV/Aids have written to South African President Thabo Mbeki, calling his government's health policy "disastrous and pseudo-scientific."

The letter said many in the country, one of the worst AIDS-affected countries, are dying unnecessarily because they cannot get AIDS drugs.

"To have as health minister a person who now has no international respect is an embarrassment to the South African government," the letter said.

The BBC report said President Mbeki has so far stood by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang but the government has said it will change the way its AIDS message is communicated.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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