British Lawmakers Criticize African Governments for Lack of Effort in Fighting HIV/AIDS
The British Parliament's International Development Committee yesterday called for increased spending to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and "slammed" the governments of sub-Saharan nations for not "do[ing] more" to combat the disease. Reuters reports that the committee criticized what it found to be "a serious failure in political leadership and governance among central and southern African governments in dealing with the disease." It also criticized the governments for failing to sponsor "low-cost measures," such as education campaigns and condom distribution programs, that would help reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS (Reuters, 3/28). Committee members said they were "shocked by the shortage" of condoms in some of the countries (BBC News, 3/29). The committee also criticized Britain's Department for International Development for "lacking an overall HIV/AIDS strategy" and called for changes to development programs and policies that would "take account of the sweeping impact of HIV/AIDS." In addition, the committee called for more funding to fight the virus (Reuters, 3/28). Unless steps are taken to improve the situation in the near future, the committee warned, some parts of Africa will face a "real danger of [their] systems and infrastructure collapsing." Committee Chair Bowen Wells said, "As the report shows, HIV/AIDS is having an impact beyond the lives of those infected; health and education systems, the economy, agriculture and security are all threatened" (BBC News, 3/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.