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

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Spacei
X
Rosanne Skirble
January 27, 2015 5:05 PM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.
Video

Video Weekly Protests in Korea Keep Japanese WWII Atrocities Alive

Every week in Seoul protesters gather in front of the Japanese Embassy to demand an apology and reparations from Tokyo for the thousands of South Korean women who were forced into prostitution during World War II. Although this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, these protestors have helped keep the issue of comfort women alive and made it difficult for Japan to move beyond its past wartime atrocities. VOA's Brian Padden reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Exercise: New Prescription for Parkinsons Disease

Exercise could be the new prescription for Parkinson's Disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. More than six million people worldwide suffer from Parkinsons and they're traditionally treated with medication and surgery. Shelley Schlender has more.
Video

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in Monday after his victorious far-left Syriza party entered a coalition with far right rivals. Tsipras says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts. So begins a new chapter for the country at the epicenter of Europe’s economic crisis - a change that has sent tremors across the continent, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Oil Price Drop Troubles Texas Producers

As oil prices have fallen over the past several months, drilling operations have slowed in some parts of the United States - including Texas, the state that surpasses all others in energy production. The Lone Star State’s energy output has been boosted in recent years by development of resources trapped deep below ground in the Eagle Ford shale deposit, which stretches across south central Texas. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Karnes City, Texas, the drop in oil prices has created concerns,
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid