Whiteside was gloomy about the future of Swaziland's AIDS response "now that the money's running dry".
"I think it means that we'll start rationing - it'll be a subtle form of rationing where we'll say we'll provide treatment in [the eastern provincial capital] Siteki and if you live 30km away you won't get treatment because you won't be able to get there; or, you used to have to wait four hours to see a doctor, now you have to wait 12 and some of you die in the queue," he said.
"We don't have the courage to ration in an explicit manner, so we will do it in an implicit manner."Swaziland: Declining Customs Union Revenues Threaten Aids Response,16 November 2010
There was some shock registered as I read this. Maphiveni is 50km from Siteki. The CHIPS programme was developed because effectively, the people in this impoverished community were already being denied access to care at Good Shepherd Hospital in Siteki only because there was no way they could afford the transport to the hospital.
But to read a prognosis from one of the premier HIV/AIDS researchers here in southern Africa stating explicitly what would be the outcome of even further reductions in government support for combating HIV/AIDS was still a shock. The children, mothers and people of Maphiveni deserve better.
Please join us in praying for the funds to move ahead with a dedicated clinic in Maphiveni to serve the HIV population in this area.