Journal Article

Meeting the challenges of the Ottawa Charter: comparing South African responses to AIDS and tobacco control

M. Taylor, A. Meyer-Weitz, C.C. Jinabhai and R. Sathiparsad

in Health Promotion International

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 203-210
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Meeting the challenges of the Ottawa Charter: comparing South African responses to AIDS and tobacco control

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The paper compares the response of the South African Government to HIV and AIDS with the government's policy development concerning the use of tobacco. The high burden of disease from HIV and AIDS in South Africa and the morbidity and mortality from the use of tobacco are outlined. Using the framework of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, the paper reviews and critiques the Government's different stance to building public policy, creating supportive environments, engaging community participation, developing personal skills and re-orienting the health services, for HIV/AIDS and tobacco. The result of these policy choices is described. The lack of adequate implementation of the key elements of the Ottawa Charter has resulted in high morbidity and mortality due to the spread of HIV infection in South Africa. This has also influenced the resurgence of tuberculosis, and the accompanying MDR and XDR TB epidemics. The high prevalence of HIV infection has also meant that the health system is unable to cope with the large numbers of patients requiring anti-retroviral treatment, and the early morbidity and mortality of young economically active people has had devastating social consequences, resulting in the large numbers of orphans. In contrast, South Africa is a signatory to the World Health Organizations' Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and has successfully implemented many of the policies.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; policy development; tobacco control

Journal Article.  4018 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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