Santa Rosa Press Democrat Column Calls for More Funding for International HIV/AIDS and Malaria Programs
The "dark storm" of HIV/AIDS and malaria is "gathering force, carrying grave implications for the basic prosperity and very survival of tens of millions of people," Brad Bollinger, business editor for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, writes in a Press Democrat column. The statistics are "staggering," Bollinger writes, noting that five million people contracted HIV in 2001 and that malaria is responsible for the deaths of one million people per year. The majority of AIDS- and malaria-related deaths are in Africa, but wealthy nations must boost aid to the continent to help fight the two diseases, Bollinger states. He notes that in 1992, developed nations agreed to increase development assistance to 0.7% of their total economic output. However, the countries only donated a collective $51.3 billion - approximately 0.2% of total economic output -- in international aid in 2001. The United States' proportion of assistance was 0.1% of economic output. "It would appear then, by their own estimates, that the world's rich countries can't afford to fund the fight against the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and malaria. It may be they can't afford not to," Bollinger concludes (Bollinger, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 10/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.