O’Neill, Bono Visit Hospital in South Africa, See HIV/AIDS ‘Devastation’
Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and Irish rock star Bono today "saw first hand the devastation HIV/AIDS has wrought on South Africa" when they toured the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital as part of their "roadshow" through four African nations, Reuters reports (Somerville/Kotch, Reuters, 5/24). The pair are in Southern Africa to assess development and HIV/AIDS initiatives (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/22). In addition to meeting with AIDS patients at the hospital, O'Neill and Bono toured a Pretoria-based Ford motor plant, which is considered to have an "exemplary HIV/AIDS policy." O'Neill said, "[I]t's great when you have big industrial companies like this working on the (HIV/AIDS) problem." Bono added that companies need to have "some kind of responsibilities" if they expect to benefit from the global market. Yesterday, O'Neill and Bono met with South African President Thabo Mbeki and Finance Minister Trevor Manuel to discuss economic issues, including debt relief. While Mbeki has been criticized for questioning the link between HIV and AIDS, Bono said that Mbeki "is turning" and that he should be given "a bit of room" (Reuters, 5/24).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.