Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
U.N. Special Envoy Stephen Lewis Says Zambian AIDS Epidemic, Food Shortage Could Lead to ‘Irreversible Destruction’
Zambia faces a "tremendous crisis" if efforts to fight hunger and HIV/AIDS are not improved, Stephen Lewis, the U.N. Secretary General's special envoy on HIV/AIDS, said on Sunday at the conclusion of a trip through Zambia and five other African nations, Reuters reports. "I don't think I have seen anything (as) dramatic as I have witnessed in Zambia when it comes to the conjunction of AIDS and hunger," Lewis said, adding that if Zambia "doesn't turn things around next year, the passage of time will destroy the country." Lewis, who also traveled to South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, added that the dual crises of hunger and HIV/AIDS compound one another and "lea[d] to a kind of downward spiral on a country, which becomes irreversible if a country does not fight back." Approximately 20% of Zambians are HIV-positive, and three million Zambians are in need of food assistance, according to official estimates (Reuters, 12/15).
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