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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid