World Bank Signs $60 Million Loan for Ukraine’s Tuberculosis, AIDS Efforts
The World Bank on Tuesday signed a credit agreement with the Ukraine on a $60 million loan to help the country address the "rapid spread" of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS there, the Associated Press reports (Associated Press, 4/16). Oleksander Yaremenko, head of the Ukrainian Institute for Social Studies, in February released a report conducted in conjunction with the country's Health Ministry indicating that by 2010 approximately 1.44 million Ukrainian people will be infected with HIV and 90,000 people will have died from AIDS-related complications (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/20). In addition, about 670,000 people in the country have tuberculosis, and the death rate from the disease has almost tripled in the last 10 years, health officials said, according to the Associated Press. The World Bank funds will help the country's "cash-strapped" government implement a comprehensive prevention, diagnosis and epidemic control program to combat the diseases. Uliana Lozan, spokesperson for the Health Ministry, said that in addition to the World Bank loan, the country will allocate $21.9 million from its own budget for the program. Denis Poltavtsev, manager of the Ukraine's International Renaissance Foundation's public health program, said, "The importance of the agreement can hardly be overestimated. The state program on the fight against tuberculosis and AIDS that was adopted before has finally received real financing, followed by the use of advanced methods to treat and prevent the two epidemics" (Associated Press, 4/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.