Irfan Kherani, 2011, Molecular Biology

In this study we primarily sought to address three questions regarding infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, and Tuberculosis in five municipalities in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. How and why do elected and non-elected leaders respond to and prioritize policy problems in different ways? Why do different types of authorities respond to different problems? How and why does this vary across time and space? We utilized several methods of data gathering. A closed ended survey was distributed in 8-12 municipalities with a goal of 200 responses. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with councilors and various types of authorities in 1 metropolitan area and 3 local councils. We spent time in the library doing newspaper research to find reports that highlight the politics of the governance of infectious disease. We also made passive observations, of what we saw in local meetings of councils/committees, other relevant information. While the data from this study has yet to be analyzed, our fieldwork made it apparent that there are many logistical, organizational, cultural and political barriers to effective prevention and medication distribution problems. Even though actors other than the government including churches, businesses, and non-governmental organizations are also playing an active role there remains a large population of citizens who are vulnerable to infectious disease.