December 1st, 2011

Politicians Just Don’t Care Enough to Tackle this Scourge

Economics & Politics

Global Health

Today should be a matter of celebration, but this World Aids Day is instead an occasion of deep alarm.  The celebration should come in looking back a decade to the 2001 launch of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.  Millions of people are now alive today on antiretroviral treatment  –  and hundreds of millions more are safer from the three epidemic diseases –  as a result of that historic initiative. Yet today our governments are on the verge of sentencing millions of people to death through a combination of neglect, cynicism, and ignorance.

For the first time in its history, the Global Fund suspended the new round of funding  to which low-income countries had expected to submit national plans for support.  Yet the donor governments didn’t come through with the needed money.  Poor countries had been keen to use this eleventh round to help finance the training and deployment of community health workers, to increase the coverage of AIDS prevention and treatment, and more generally to upgrade primary health services to fight the epidemic diseases.  Now they are stopped in their tracks.

The consequences will be calamitous.  During the past decade, malaria was being rolled back in Africa for the first time in history.  Further progress depends on…

Read full article in The Independent.


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