USAID/ Southern Africa at the Taxi Industry Phila Health and Wellness Campaign Launch

Speeches Shim

Monday, November 27, 2017
USAID/Southern Africa Mission Director, John Groarke's opening remarks at the Phila Health and Wellness Campaign
USAID at Taxi Wellness Campaign Launch
USAID/Southern Africa Mission Director addressing the public at the Launch of the
USAID/South Africa TB South Africa Project


  • Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi
  • Minister of Transport, Mr. Joe Maswanganyi
  • President of SANTACO, Mr. Philip Taaibosch
  • Honored guests
  • Partners, friends and colleagues

Good morning and thank you for the opportunity to join you this morning.

South Africa is burdened by one of the most severe TB epidemics in the world, while also dealing with the greatest burden of HIV-infected individuals.  TB prevalence is the world’s third highest, and millions are living with HIV/AIDS with hundreds of thousands of new infections each year. 

South Africa has made remarkable progress in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and has the largest antiretroviral treatment program in the world, an accomplishment which speaks for itself and one of which the country should be proud.

We all know that, without addressing TB, and the growing threat of Multi Drug Resistant-TB, we will be hard-pressed to control the AIDS epidemic.  I’m pleased to say that South Africa has made tremendous progress in responding to the TB epidemic.  And, in doing so, it has demonstrated global leadership—including from Minister of Health Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, who chairs the Global Stop TB Partnership. 

But as everyone in this room knows, despite our achievements, there is clearly a long way to go.  In additioan to TB and HIV , which remain major public health problems, South Africa is now confronted with a second burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

The U.S. government supports South Africa’s National Strategic Plan on HIV, TB and STIs, launched in March this year, and pledges to work with the national government to achieve the 90-90-90-goals as set by the UN and the Minister of Health.

USAID remains a partner to South Africa on TB as on PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.  We worked closely with  Dr. Pillay and his team at the National Department of Health to develop a $65 million, five-year  TB assistance project. 

In recent years, South Africa has been a trailblazer in TB care and treatment, including in its efforts to utilize new diagnostics to identify drug-resistant cases, simplify access to MDR-TB care, and rapidly incorporate new drugs into its regimens.

USAID will continue to work with the national government to expand the access to TB services among vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations, including people living with HIV, mineworkers, pregnant women, and children.  This engagement remains the core component of our TB program.

None of us can do this alone. It is a common mantra, for a very good reason, but really none of us can do this alone.  Reaching our goals won’t be easy and, clearly, they will not be achieved through governments alone.  Private sector engagement and partnerships are more important than ever before.   

Over the past seven years, USAID has supported programs in various countries to pilot community-based service delivery strategies whereby people receive high quality treatment within their local settings.  We are excited by the Phila inititative and its efforts to reach under-served communities and populations.

In addition to mobilizing political and community leadership, it is recognized that religious, traditional, business and labor leaders are important stakeholders to help improve health outcomes.  I know such broader outreach is a tenet of USAID’s work in South Africa, and a focus for USAID/Washington globally. 

USAID will continue to coordinate and collaborate with your national programs and build on existing platforms to bring about sustainable impact to further reduce the burden of  TB and HIV.

Thank you to all of you for your participation, and thank you to South Africa’s political leadership, our PEPFAR partners, community groups, and every other organization that works to end TB and HIV. 

Bosman Taxi Rank, Pretoria