Global Fund Signs Seven Grant Agreements With Indonesia, Philippines, Western Pacific Islands
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria yesterday signed seven grant agreements totaling $33 million over two years to fight the three diseases in Indonesia, the Philippines and several Western Pacific island nations, the Associated Press reports. The money will boost prevention and treatment programs in the region, focusing on rural and indigenous populations. Indonesia will receive up to $15 million over two years to improve AIDS education and care in four high prevalence areas and to combat malaria in four eastern provinces. The Philippines, where the burden of TB is the eigth highest in the world, will receive $3.4 million for TB treatment programs and $7 million for malaria prevention and treatment programs in rural areas (Fowler, Associated Press, 6/5). UNAIDS estimates that 9,400 of the Philippines' 84 million inhabitants are HIV-positive, which is only 0.1% of the adult population (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/21). Several island states in the Western Pacific region, where HIV/AIDS "is emerging as one of the biggest health challenges," will receive $3 million to strengthen surveillance systems and laboratory facilities, improve prevention and care and launch targeted education programs among young people and other high-risk groups. Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are among the island states included in the grant. Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund, called the grants "notable for their focus on remote rural and indigenous populations," adding that the funds will enable the development of "rapid diagnosis, quality care and effective prevention measures for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in regions that up to now have had little or no access to these services" (Global Fund release, 6/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.