AIDS-Related Deaths Could be Cut by 25% by 2010 With Proper Funding and ‘Will,’ WHO/United Nations Report Says
The number of AIDS-related deaths could be cut by 25% by 2010 and deaths from malaria and tuberculosis could be halved over the same time period at a cost of about $12 billion per year, according to a new report by the World Health Organization and several U.N. agencies, the Washington Post reports. The 97-page report, which is scheduled to be released Saturday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in New York City, states that "insufficient will and money" are the "major obstacles" to achieving these target goals. The report calls for a "major new push" against the three diseases and highlights successful HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria programs in other countries that could be expanded. One such program recommended in the report is the TB treatment method called DOTS, or directly observed therapy, short-course, which includes a six-month regimen of standardized TB drugs that cures 85% of patients who participate. Health officials and economic analysts say that helping to reduce disease in developing nations is a good idea for both economic and ethical reasons. Relieving a country of disease for 15 to 20 years will give it an economic "boost" and help its citizens out of poverty, analysts say. The Post reports that the new report "marks an evolution" in the goals of global health programs because such projects now focus on curing disease among the adult population, whereas before they focused primarily on children. The report is being released, "by chance," in the same week that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was officially launched. Last year, AIDS, TB and malaria killed 5.7 million people, and the three diseases accounting for one-tenth of the world's deaths (Brown, Washington Post, 1/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.