'Only 4 African countries have met commitment to fight AIDS'

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Only four African countries - Togo, Zambia, Botswana and Rwanda - have met their Abuja commitment to the fight against AIDS, anti-AIDS advocacy organisation, ONE, said in a press statement in Nairobi, Kenya, Wednesday.

Releasing  the report ahead of the World Aids Day, set for 3 December, the organization which creates awareness of the progress made in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, said in Africa, an estimated US$ 90 billion is at stake between now and 2015 if African governments can garner the political will to achieve the Abuja commitment of allocating 15 percent of national budgets to health spending.

A number of African countries are on track: Madagascar only needs to increase its health expenditures by 2 percent and Malawi by 5.7percent, said the three-million member strong organisation.

"We know that the highest burden of this disease is in Africa. It is therefore imperative that African leaders lead the fight against this disease from the front, Unfortunately, 13 countries would have to at least double, or in some cases triple or quadruple their health expenditures in order to meet the Abuja target.

"One of the ways African leaders can demonstrate their commitment is by following through on their Abuja commitments as well as following through the 2012 AU Roadmap on AIDS, TB, and Malaria Response in Africa,'' said  ONE Africa Director, Dr Sipho Moyo.

In the past year, US President Barack Obama, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and French President François Hollande, joined many of the biggest names in the scientific, political and advocacy communities to call for achieving the ‘beginning of the end of AIDS’.

At the UN, member states set targets to be met by 2015, including: ensuring that 15 million people are on ARV treatment; virtually eliminating mother-to-child transmission of the disease; and drastically reducing the rate of HIV infections.

Despite these commitments, a new DATA report issued by ONE one Wednesday finds that there has been insufficient progress in meeting these targets and that, "at current rates, we will not reach the ‘beginning of the end of AIDS’ until 2022 — seven years after the UN target".

The report also finds uneven levels of financial and political commitments from traditional donor countries to the global fight against AIDS.

Globally, ONE finds that scientists now have the tools to turn the tide on the pandemic that has killed 30 million people in 30 years, but warns they will fail unless sufficient funding, coordination and political will is brought to bear in support of effective AIDS programmes around the world.

Along with the new report, ONE is launching an online petition and unveiling a grassroots video campaign with support from celebrities, AIDS activists and ONE members.

These initiatives are designed to pressure global policymakers to step up and follow-through on their commitments to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria later next year.

ONE, a global advocacy and campaigning organization co-founded by musician Paul Hewson, better known by his stage name Bono, is dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
-0- PANA DJ/VAO 28Nov2012


  

28 november 2012 15:36:37




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