South Africa’s Department of Health on Friday announced the appointment of Dr Sandile Buthelezi as its director-general. A seasoned expert in health governance, policy and programme management with more than 15 years in the field, the health department said Buthelezi promises to bring a wealth of knowledge to South Africa’s health system at a crucial epoch where the country is in a battle against the coronavirus pandemic. Buthelezi is currently the chief executive of the South African National Aids Council (Sanac), a position he has held since September 2017.
“While at Sanac, Buthelezi drove the implementation of the National Strategic Plan, a road map towards a future where HIV and TB (tuberculosis) no longer plague the lives of South Africans or put strain on our health system. He has also worked to secure billions in grants from the Global Fund to assist South Africa’s fight against HIV,” said the health department. Trained as a medical doctor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Buthelezi cut his teeth at the Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, before climbing the ranks and being appointed the director of HIV in the province’s health department.
Buthelezi said the lessons learnt from the HIV pandemic are crucial in the arduous fight against Covid-19. The lessons that we’ve learnt from dealing with HIV in South Africa are coming in handy as we are dealing with Covid-19, specifically when it comes to community-based testing, screening and testing,” said Buthelezi.
“The experience I’ve gained in and out of the public sector has made me a much more moulded person to work with a team of people to move forward with critically focusing on the National Health Insurance.
“With a visionary health minister like Dr Zweli Mkhize and the leadership of President Cyril Ramaphosa, I believe we are in safe hands. We all want to contribute towards quality health-care services for all South Africans. We are all together in this, and for all of us it should be all hands on deck. President Ramaphosa announced on Thursday night that the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa stands above 12,000.
Of the 724 new cases within a 24-hour period, 608 cases were recorded in the Western Cape, which has raised concerns as the case numbers increase at a rapid rate compared with other provinces. The total number of confirmed cases in that province is 6,713, followed by Gauteng with 2,074, the Eastern Cape with 1,534, KwaZulu-Natal with 1,41
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