Zambia’s Former President Calls War a ‘Hinderance’ to AIDS Fight
Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, who retired from politics earlier this year to become an AIDS activist, said Thursday that the "escalating wars" on the African continent have become a "major hinderance" to fighting the AIDS pandemic there, Reuters reports. Speaking on a popular radio show in Lusaka, Kaunda, whose son Masuzgo died of AIDS in 1986, cited the conflicts in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as strife in East and West Africa as "diverting resources away from combatting the killer disease." Zambian health officials estimate that the country's number of AIDS orphans will grow from the current 520,000 to 974,00 in 2014. Kaunda said, "As Africans, we need to do something to end civil conflict. If we continue to be preoccupied by wars, epidemics like AIDS will decimate our people" (Esipisu, Reuters, 12/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.