Current Budget and Policies of the South African Government
Understandably, the South African government has taken strategic and prudent measures to ensure that the funding for the management and control of the HIV (Human-Immuno-Deficiency-Virus)/ AIDS (Acquired-Immuno-Deficiency-Syndrome) pandemic is adequate and comprehensive. Considering budgetary allocation, the Treasury Department in the South African government has adopted various approaches. For instance, the government has allotted approximately 20 billion rands to finance the enforcement of policies on universal treatment and testing, coupled with the provision of services required in the prevention program of HIV (“Estimates of national expenditure,” 2019). Furthermore, the treasury has set aside 75.9 billion rands to oversee the program on HIV/ AIDS and STIs management within South African society. The funding and budgetary framework aimed to ensure that the number of individuals under the anti-retroviral-treatment program (ART) increases from 4.3 million in September/ October 2018 to about 7 million by the period of 2020/2021 (“Estimates of national expenditure,” 2019). These funding approaches highlight the efforts of the South African government to combat HIV/AIDS.
One of the stringent policies that the South African government has undertaken is the 90/90/90 framework for managing and combating the AIDS epidemic. In this robust government strategy executed through the United Nations, UN’s assistance, the government aims to achieve a three-pronged agenda (“Estimates of national expenditure,” 2019). First, the government of South Africa focuses on ensuring (certifying) that 90% of the persons living with the virus HIV/AIDS receive the diagnosis (“Estimates of national expenditure,” 2019). The second plan aims at guaranteeing that 90% of the persons who have received a diagnosis are put on an ART program (“Estimates of national expenditure,” 2019). The third agenda targets 90% of the persons under the ART program to attain a reasonable viral-load suppression (“Estimates of national expenditure,” 2019). Further, due to the increased cases of opportunistic illnesses arising majorly from infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria, the government of South Africa initiated a comprehensive program to integrate the management of HIV/AIDS with the control scheme for Malaria and TB.
Pros and Cons
The cooperation between the South African government and the pharmaceutical companies shall trigger significant reductions in treatment costs for persons living with HIV/AIDS. This viewpoint is based on the premise that the government will be in a capacity (position) to negotiate for favorable (lowered) drug prices (Modisenyane et al., 2017). Besides, the collaboration will enhance the effectiveness of the distribution of ART drugs since it is a hybrid program between government distribution channels and pharmaceutical companies (Amara et al., 2017). Further, the collaborative approach to managing the AIDS epidemic in South Africa will be instrumental in providing a favorable environment for advanced research on innovative ART kits that will boost the success rate of combating HIV/AIDS.
The collaborative spirit between the pharmaceutical entities and the government will limit the entry of generic ART kits into the South African market. In essence, generic drugs have the disadvantage of inefficiencies in treatment (Modisenyane et al., 2017). Furthermore, they contribute to the infringement of patent policies established by the pharmaceutical corporations in South Africa (Amara et al., 2017). Ultimately, the pharmaceutical companies’ assistance in the government’s efforts to manage HIV/ AIDS will lead to better results in the reversal of the infection rate and the realization of suppressed viral load in the affected population.
The collaboration of the two entities in addressing the concerns of the HIV/ AIDS will result in the decline of the government’s control in the pharmaceutical sector, especially regarding the manufacturing and subsequent distribution of ART kits. The government’s monitoring and regulation help in the production and distribution of high-quality drugs to the South African market (Modisenyane et al., 2017). Agreeably, the government will incur increased costs of treatment and management of the epidemic since it has to buy high-quality and certified ART kits from pharmaceutical companies, and they are expensive in the market (Amara et al., 2017). Increased cooperation between the pharmaceutical players and the government may lead to laxity by government agencies since they may fail to meet their government mandate due to private pharmaceutical entities’ assistance.
Stakeholders’ Moral Responsibility to Assist the South African Government
Stakeholders have a great and compelling moral responsibility to help the South African government achieve its agenda of combating the epidemic of HIV/ AIDS. The private sector players and the non-governmental entities should participate in efforts to help the government facilitate community health programs for the local communities (Modisenyane et al., 2017). From a CSR (corporate-social-responsibility) perspective, the stakeholders are bound by CSR’s principles to help the current government of South Africa in dealing with the management of the challenges presented by the AIDS epidemic.
Taking the case of Anglo-American PLC, it was appropriate for the miming entity to prop the government’s efforts in combating the biting effects of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic since it adversely affected the operations of the company. Simultaneously, the general call for humanity should motivate the private sector stakeholders to fund, facilitate, and build capacity in regard to the efforts established by the government of South Africa in addressing the deadly epidemic. In this way, a win-win scenario emerges since the society, government, and stakeholders benefit from the collaborative approach (Modisenyane et al., 2017). The collaboration will essentially enhance the efficiency in the distribution of ART drugs since it is an integrative program.
Amara, M., Bissonnette, H., Edge, L., Hastings, J., Luft, K., & Abadia-Barrero, C. (2017). HIV/AIDS in South-Africa: What are the issues, how are they being addressed, and are the implemented programs effective? [PDF document].
Estimates of national expenditure (2019). National-Treasury.
Modisenyane, M. S., Hendricksa, S. J., & Finebergb, H. (2017). Understanding how domestic health policy is integrated into foreign policy in South Africa: A case for accelerating access to antiretroviral medicines. Global Health Action, 10, 1–13.