AIDS Activists in Brussels Call on Global Fund to Disperse Money for Treatment ‘Immediately’
AIDS activists held a news conference on Thursday in Brussels to "deman[d]" that more money from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria be allocated immediately for treatment, the Wall Street Journal Europe reports. "Money should be allocated immediately to treatment programs that already exist and to health care structure where there are professional medical providers and empty medical cabinets," Sharonann Lynch of the Health GAP Coalition said, adding that fund administrators are "focusing on improving overall health care systems while 10,000 people a day are dying because of lack of drugs." The fund, which is estimated to need $7 billion to $10 billion annually to fight the three diseases in the developing world, has so far received pledges of more than $1.4 billion, but plans are not yet in place for how the funds will be administered. "They (the Global Fund) are too slow, they are losing political goodwill and they are showing no visible signs of commitment to provide antiretroviral (drugs) to poor people," Zackie Achmat, chair of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign, added. Macharia Kamau, a member of the group overseeing the administration of the fund, said the activists' concerns are "legitimate," but added that his group is still trying to determine how the fund will "operate and how it will work." He said that the fund "will and can support antiretroviral drugs," adding that disbursement of the money will depend on "demands at country level." Such demands "will help the fund determine what it should, can fund," Kamau said (Louis, Wall Street Journal Europe, 11/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.