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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid