HIV/AIDS Programs ‘Drain’ Funds From Programs Aimed at Preventing Malaria, Advocates Say
Goals set two years ago by African leaders to reduce the incidence of malaria have not been met, according to a report presented by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, the Washington Times reports (Carter, Washington Times, 11/5). According to malaria activists, the resources of programs aimed at fighting malaria -- which is preventable and curable yet kills approximately 2.7 million people each year -- are being "drain[ed]" by efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. In addition, the countries that have "persisted" in fighting malaria and tuberculosis over the past few years have been "critici[zed] for ignoring the HIV/AIDS epidemic," the Financial Times reports. According to the journal Nature, international spending to fight malaria equals approximately $200 million to $300 million per year, compared to the $15 billion that is expected to be spent annually on HIV/AIDS by 2007. Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to Annan, said that the African economy loses approximately $12 billion per year as a result of malaria, adding that the disease could be controlled "by simple measures" that would cost about $2 billion annually (Firn, Financial Times, 11/5). Sachs added that malaria and HIV/AIDS were problems "vastly bigger than anything (the African governments) could undertake on their own." He recommended that the World Bank set up a special grant program for malaria. HIV/AIDS and malaria are the two deadliest diseases in Africa (Chege, Reuters, 11/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.