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Global Aids Coordinator Nominee Has A Lot Of International Experience

This week president Barack Obama nominated a prominent HIV/AIDS expert to be United States global Aids coordinator. Dr Eric Goosby is the chief executive officer and chief medical officer of Pangaea global AIDS foundation. He was also involved in the creation of Physicians for Human Rights’ Health Action AIDS campaign in 2002 and has been an active advisor with the campaign since its inception.

Physicians for Human Rights is an organization that mobilizes the health professions to advance the health and dignity of all people by protecting human rights. Pat Daoust is Physicians for Human Rights’ director for health action Aids campaign.

From Cambridge Massachusetts she told VOA’s Douglas Mpuga that they are very pleased with Dr. Goosby’s nomination and hope for a quick confirmation so that he can begin his work.“We are extremely excited not only because Dr. Goosby has been involved with PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) since the beginning of our Health Action AIDS campaign eight years ago but also because he brings a certain level of expertise to the global aids initiative that the US has been supporting,” she said. She described Dr. Goosby as “a very unique individual with tremendous amount of experience”.

Daoust noted that Dr. Goosby has been doing HIV/AIDs work for over twenty years now; first here in the US where he worked at San Francisco General hospital and more recently he has been doing work internationally from China, to Eastern Europe to Africa.

She added, "he sees addressing the epidemic from a comprehensive integrated manner that has to be done for any kind of sustained response. So his vision and his on-the-ground experience is something that we really need right now as we go into the second phase of the president’s response to AIDS”.

Daoust also hailed Dr. Goosby’s knowledge on integration of health care. “He knows how important it is to not only look at HIV but also tuberculosis (TB). And he also understands from his first hand experience the importance of a strong health care system; he looks at things very broadly, very comprehensively because he has been on the ground”.

She said although funding for the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has been increased the money has to be appropriated by congress and “we are a bit nervous simply because of the economic downturn and hope the funding will not be decreased”.