News / Asia

Clinics Turn Away HIV, TB Patients in Burma

The French medical aid group Doctors Without Borders says cuts in international aid for treating HIV and tuberculosis are putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in Burma.

More HIV, TB patients at risk

Doctors Without Borders says two thirds of HIV patients in Burma in need of antiretroviral therapy cannot get it.

That leaves 85,000 people susceptible to diseases like tuberculosis, responsible for a quarter of all AIDS-related deaths.

The group, known by its French abbreviation MSF, says every year there are an estimated 9,300 new cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis, but to date only 300 are treated.

To help close the gap, MSF expected to receive financial support under a new round of aid from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. But, in November, it was abruptly cancelled because of a shortage of cash from donor nations.

Increase in funding, disperate need

Peter Paul de Groote is head of the group’s operations in Burma, also known as Myanmar. He says the funding would have expanded treatment dramatically. “So, with the cancellation of round 11 that is not happening now, which means 46,500 people for HIV that could have been receiving treatment over the coming years and about 10,000 people for multi-drug-resistant TB will not be receiving this treatment because the money is not coming into the country,” he explained.

MSF says HIV prevalence in Burma is relatively low, but lack of treatment makes it one of the most serious epidemics in Asia.

The United Nations says between 15,000 and 20,000 people living with HIV die every year in Burma because they are not treated.

The prevalence of TB in Burma is nearly three times the global average.

MSF is the largest supplier of anti-retroviral therapy in Burma, where health care makes up a tiny fraction of government spending.

Burma is expected this year to increase its budget for health care, but is still dependent on foreign aid.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.