News / Health

Donors Pledge Support for Curbing HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says innovation and partnership in global health by the private sector are playing an increasingly important role in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, Dec. 2, 2013. (K. Connor/Getty Images for the Global Fund)U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says innovation and partnership in global health by the private sector are playing an increasingly important role in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, Dec. 2, 2013. (K. Connor/Getty Images for the Global Fund)
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says innovation and partnership in global health by the private sector are playing an increasingly important role in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, Dec. 2, 2013. (K. Connor/Getty Images for the Global Fund)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says innovation and partnership in global health by the private sector are playing an increasingly important role in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, Dec. 2, 2013. (K. Connor/Getty Images for the Global Fund)
William Eagle
Health officials, world leaders and donors from around the world met this week at the Global Fund’s Fourth Replenishment Conference in Washington to increase financial support -- and to highlight the progress made in fighting the three diseases. Fund officials aim to raise up to $15 billion for the next three-year funding cycle, 2014-2016. That would represent a $4.6 billion increase over the previous funding period.

The United States has pledged up to five billion dollars to the program.   
 
President Barack Obama also said the U.S. will add $1 for every $2 pledged by donors.  France reaffirmed its commitment of US$1.4 billion to the Global Fund for the next three-year period. Japan has pledged $800 million, the United Kingdom $1.6 billion, and Canada $612 million.

Among the participants at the conference,  entrepreneur Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged up to $500 million for the new funding cycle.   
 
Speaking at a symposium of Global Fund partners, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of continued financial support and highlighted the progress made against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.  He said that thanks to the support of the Fund, an AIDS-free generation may be within sight.
 
"It’s really a stunning story," he said, "that speaks to the extraordinary progress that we’ve been able to make together in our global health efforts. It’s also a story about how the world came together to support a 40-fold increase in people receiving lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment [for HIV/AIDS] during the past decade alone. It’s a story about how the global target of a 50 percent reduction in TB-related deaths by 2015 is now actually within reach. It’s a story about cutting malaria so dramatically in some regions that infant mortality has dropped by a third."
  
Other participants agreed with Kerry.  Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said worldwide, projects supported by the Global Fund have helped save nine million lives from the three diseases. 
 
For many in Africa, that has meant working to curtail the spread of HIV/AIDS.
 
"On the continent," said Okonjo-Iweala, "we’ve seen new HIV infections have fallen quite dramatically, nearly 40 percent. One million fewer people acquired HIV in 2012, and we had  22 percent fewer AIDS-related deaths between 2001 and 2012."
 
In Nigeria, she said over a million people are receiving anti-retroviral treatment for the disease, an increase of about seven percent over last year. Also, nearly 700,000 pregnant women have received counseling on how to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
 
Nigeria is also making progress against malaria. Health officials have scaled up treatment centers and laboratories, and distributed 57 million bed nets to prevent infection by disease-carrying mosquitos.

But Okonjo-Iweala said recent studies have shown that only 40 percent of children surveyed actually sleep under them.  She said policy makers are debating which would be more effective:  bed nets or treatments that kill the mosquitoes.  Some studies say larvacides are less expensive and equally effective.

Nigeria’s finance minister also said the government is working to improve the effectiveness of treatments, by tracking resource flows and measuring the impact of projects.
 
As a partner in the Global Fund, Nigeria is also using its own resources for health programs.
 
"We’ve committed $500 million to this initiative over four years," she said, "and we’re very proud of this commitment because it comes from money saved from the reduction in subsidies for petroleum.  When we tried to reduce subsidies, people were out on the streets saying [petroleum subsidies to lower prices] is the only thing they gain from government.  But poor people were not getting the subsidies. By taking this chunk, one-third of this money, and putting it directly into these programs, this is our commitment for how [we’ll approach health care]."
 
Similar progress was noted by another participant at the conference, the first lady of Rwanda, Jeanette Kagame. She's active in global development and public health issues, and is a founding board member of Friends of the Global Fund.

She said thanks to the Fund, Rwanda is on its way to meeting the U.N.-backed Millennium Development Goals of reducing maternal and child mortality.  Part of that is due to improvements in reducing malaria, tuberculosis and mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS.  She said new infections of HIV have been reduced by half and mortality from HIV has fallen by 80 percent.
 
"We have emphasized prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV," she explained. "HIV-positive pregnant women and their children have access to services in 85 percent of our health facilities. It costs less to offer an HIV positive woman a full treatment regimen during pregnancy than to care for her infected children for the rest of their lives. The number of HIV testing and treatment sites has increased significantly over the past 10 years during which time 456 out of 502 health centers have been equipped to provide comprehensive HIV services. "

Rwanda’s first lady said there are other improvements in health care. The incidents of malaria, she said, declined by nearly 75 percent between 2005 and 2012.  And, nearly 90 percent of all malaria patients are able to get affordable treatment. She said tuberculosis patients receive comprehensive care, with nearly all those infected being treated.  Four sites were established to quarantine those with multi-drug resistance to the disease.  Also, she said all Rwandans now have access to health insurance.

Secretary of State Kerry said the way forward should include what he called strategic investments based on the latest science and best practices.
 
"In tight budget environments in almost every one of our capitals, every dollar, every yen, pound, euro, all of them, are going to be competed for in a zero-sum game, and it’s going to be imperative that we come in and show people how we are producing and what we are getting for the value of that currency," said Kerry."

"That’s why we need to continue setting benchmarks for outcomes and put our weight behind HIV prevention… We have to begin to put in practices that stem that tide.  And treatment and care interventions that work can make an enormous difference in creating the culture that can begin to do that."

He also said partners need to focus on the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, who represent over half of those infected in sub-Saharan Africa.  He said Global Fund partners – both private and public – need to work to improve the effectiveness of anti-retrovirals for the disease, and cooperate in the purchase of the drugs in order to drive down costs.

Kerry said in an inter-connected world,  illnesses like drug-resistant tuberculosis are only a plane-ride away, so there’s no alternative to investing in global health.

Listen to report on Global Fund
Listen to report on Global Fundi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Wendy Ferguson from: South Africa
December 08, 2013 3:00 PM
WHAT ABOUT CANCER WHICH SURPASSES TB AIDS AND MALARIA COMBINED????????? THE PHARMACEUTICALS ARE MAKING AN ABSOLUTE FORTUNE ON CHEMOTHERAPY DRUGS COULD THAT BE THE REASON SEEING THAT IT HAS A 1.7% SUCCESS RATE????????

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid