News / Africa

    AIDS Activist Group Calls for Greater Global Fund Support

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    Next week, donor nations meet in New York to decide how much money to give the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  Activists and NGOs say the fund needs at least $20 billion to sustain current programs and provide new grants.  However, there are indications donors will contribute a lot less than that in the last funding round.

    Vuyiseka Dubula, general secretary of South Africa’s Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), has concerns about donor funding levels.

    “Our main concerns are the signs that we see from the G8 countries,” she says, “showing [much] less commitment to universal access.  And we measure that by their commitment to increase their expenditure on health and HIV.”

    10 million people in need

    In 2005, at the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, leaders pledged to achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment, care and prevention by 2015.

    “We’ve been calling on the G8 countries, including the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Italy, Japan and so on, to replenish the Global Fund when the replenishment conference comes up this year,” she says.

    Few countries have officially announced their funding amounts prior to next week’s meeting. There are that indications Italy, for example, may pledge a small amount or nothing at all.

    Vuyiseka Dubula, General Secretary, Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa
    Vuyiseka Dubula, General Secretary, Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa

    “Many countries are now ‘pledge funding’ HIV programs, meaning that there will not be an increase from now up to 2015.  And that has an impact on people who are supposed to be getting access to treatment.  Because by now we should be at 10 million people who should be on treatment this year.  And so far, we have about 7.7 million people who are on treatment,” she says.

    Missing out

    There has been a growing number of reports in Africa this year that people are being turned away from HIV/AIDS treatment programs due to funding shortfalls.

    While South Africa does get money from the Global Fund, most HIV-related programs are funded by the government.  It’s a different story for South Africa’s neighbors.  Dubula says countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Congo depend on external funding for most their HIV-related programs.  “Obviously,” she says, “they have had to turn people away.”

    “If you pull the plug on the Global Fund,” she says, “then those countries will not be able to treat their own people.  And many people waiting to be started on treatment will wait forever and die, because the ultimate result of no treatment is death.”

    Residents of neighboring countries could go to South Africa in hopes of receiving treatment no longer available at home.  “There is no one who lives with HIV who wants to live without their drugs,” she says.

    South Africa

    Dubula says South Africa has “the biggest HIV program in the world” with over a million people on treatment.

    “Our biggest challenge is sustainability of that program as we go forward -- both human resource capacity and financial resource capacity -- to scale up services to meet 80 percent of people who should be getting access to treatment.”

    The South Africa government uses “creative” ways to use its money effectively, she says, adding, “To use that money effectively we need an HIV program that is run efficiently, meaning that the money we are spending can save as many lives as possible, rather than spending too much money using the most expensive model of care.”

    Still, South Africa would feel the effects of smaller donations to the Global Fund, even though the grants it receives are much smaller than other countries that “depend solely” on the fund.

    “It will affect us,’ she says, “It means we won’t reach our target.  Many people that we thought we were going to put on treatment will not go on treatment.”

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.