Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
U.N. Envoy for AIDS in Africa Says 2002 Could Mark ‘Turning Point’ in Africa’s Battle Against Disease
Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy for AIDS in Africa, said that 2002 could be "the turning point" for Africa's fight against the disease if wealthy nations demonstrate a financial commitment to combatting the virus in the developing world, the Washington Times reports. "2002 is the year of truth in Africa; we must turn the tide this year," Lewis said, adding that such a turnaround is only possible if assistance from wealthier nations "isn't reallocated to counterterrorism activities." Noting that "[q]uite a remarkable amount of money has been found" to combat terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Lewis said that "similar efforts should be made" to fund anti-AIDS efforts. Lewis said that 30 years after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries set a voluntary target for development assistance at 0.7% of gross national product, expenditures have never reached the OECD goals and the average spending has fallen to 0.2%. Calling the level of government assistance to developing nations "appallingly low," he said that $110 billion to $120 billion in additional funding would be needed to pull current foreign aid spending up to the levels set by the OECD. But Lewis also "painted a positive picture" of the near future for the fight against HIV/AIDS by citing increasing worldwide awareness of the virus, broader access to AIDS drugs and the effectiveness of condom importation projects and programs to reduce vertical HIV transmission (Pisik, Washington Times, 1/7).
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.