South Africa has a proud history of achievement in the medical field, which the ACDP will build upon. We will balance these highly specialised academic achievements with primary health care.
The focus of the ACDP is to enhance the health of our nation through primary health care and education.
The key statement here is ‘prevention is better than cure’.
Health is fundamentally and integrally linked to the economic well being of a nation.
A recent Medical Research Council (MRC) report on chronic lifestyle diseases revealed that about 40% of South Africans in the economically active age group of 24-36 years, die because of chronic diseases that result from unhealthy diets, stress and lack of exercise.
The cost of this loss to the country is astronomical; lifestyle diseases cost South Africa billions of Rand every year. A 1991 MRC study showed that strokes and heart disease alone cost South Africa up to R4, 8 billion per year.
Health and development
The ACDP Health and Development Programme will take the lead in promoting, facilitating, co-ordinating, initiating, monitoring and evaluating data that examines the relationship between health and development. This will be done in order to impact on policy and delivery. This will improve the social, economic, environmental and human development of South Africa.
The ACDP aims to introduce:
- mobile clinics and traveling vaccination programmes
- programmes to promote correct nutrition and hygiene
- education with regard to abstaining from intercourse outside of monogamous marriage relationships, and
- Aids-prevention programmes and education for aids victims and their families.
We envisage formulating policy and program initiatives in the following key areas:
Primary health care
Primary health care is a key principle in the re-organisation of South Africa’s health services.
Child and adolescent health
Our objective will be to make a dramatic improvement of the state of health of our young mothers, infants, adolescents and youth.
The health of women is vital for economic development for a number of reasons:
Women form a substantial proportion of the workforce. An improvement in their health will contribute to the development of a healthy workforce;
Women are major caregivers in society and in this role they are able to assist in the care of vulnerable people, and thus create less burden on state welfare.
HIV, STDs and TB
We will introduce programmes that will focus on the prevention, management and impact of these diseases. We propose to use public health, clinical, experimental and socio-behavioural approaches in order to increase our knowledge of these diseases. We need to develop better methods to control them for the benefit of all South Africans.
HIV is increasing at 1500 new infections per day. Current government policy is not reducing this rate, nor adequately addressing the problem. More realistic methods of control and prevention must be introduced.
HIV is a health issue before it is a human rights issue and the ACDP advocates notification and tracing measures, as in any other communicable disease. This will prevent the deliberate infection of others.
In rape cases, every effort at prevention should be available to the victim, such as the AZT, TC3 and envirocidal douches. This could reduce the infection rate by as much as 300 %.
More informative education and extensive prevention measures, such as showing pictures depicting the horrific course of the disease will be shown as part of school curricula, and in clinics, industry and where ever practically possible.
We would like to see less artistic, intellectual and philosophical posturing, and more hands on care giving and counselling when dealing with these diseases. We envisage ‘no nonsense’ public awareness campaigns that train our people to completely avoid the causes of these diseases as well as how to cope with them in their families, neighbourhoods and communities. We feel that the spread of these diseases is caused by misinformation.
Meeting basic nutritional needs
The aim is to identify the extent and depth of nutritional problems, and then prioritise areas of attention, with the ultimate goal of achieving optimum nutrition for all. Imaginative programmes need to be found to bridge the gap whilst the government attends to economic upliftment.
The ACDP strongly opposes the public provision of abortion facilities.
We consider the current legislation to be a license for promiscuity with abortion being viewed as a ready birth control method.
It is the view of the ACDP that our constitutional right to life should also protect the unborn child. (It has now been scientifically and medically proven that life begins at conception).
There is a notion that certain people require this method of ridding themselves of unwanted children in order to uplift them selves economically. The ACDP sees this as a dehumanising proposal, which is paradoxically very discriminatory, as it asserts that children from poor communities have less value than others.
The ACDP will tighten regulations with regard to alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Particular attention will be given to persons as well as laws that promote the use of alcohol amongst known alcoholics.
Our policies with regard to dangerous drugs and narcotics are covered in the section of this document that deals with Safety and Security.
With regard to the debate on the banning of smoking in public, the ACDP bases its support for the ban on the basis of the health aspect and especially its detrimental effects on young children and pregnant mothers.
At the same time we are conscious of the negative effects that the ban is likely to have on employment opportunities in the traditionally employment-rich tobacco industry.
We however consider that persons will still be able to smoke in designated areas – which we hope will be required to be fitted with the necessary filters to eliminate as far as possible the possibility of passive smoking.
We note the inconsistencies of the ban with regard to other forms of abuse such as alcohol and drugs.
We find it difficult to understand why smoking is being criminalised whilst there is a move to decriminalise cannabis.
When all the facts are considered, the health benefits, especially to later generations, will outweigh the negative aspects.
A national Health and Nutrition Day can be implemented whereby all South Africans can contribute to feeding the nation and provide some basic needs services.
The objective of the Party’s policy on health will be to focus on health promotion and disease control interventions.
Health savings scheme
Our overall aim is to reduce taxation of companies so that they, together with their employees can contribute towards medical saving schemes.
The idea of the health savings scheme is to encourage companies under the reduced TEAL taxation method to provide health insurance benefits to their workers.
Instead of a full payment on health insurance, employees are required to contribute at least one third to this fund, while the company pays the balance.
The company’s contribution provides for general health care, while the employee’s share is put away for health coverage in the case of unemployment or exhaustion of their health benefits.
Through this scheme, the employee pays a lower premium per annum as the employer covers the rest. The employee thereby saves whilst being provided with full health insurance cover.