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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs