African Leaders Pledge To Work Toward Providing Universal Drug Access for HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Treatment
African leaders on Thursday at the end of the three-day African Union summit on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Abuja, Nigeria, pledged to work toward providing universal treatment access for people living with the diseases on the continent, AFP/Today Online reports. The leaders, in demonstration of their renewed commitment, adopted the Abuja Call for Accelerated Action Towards Universal Access to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services, AFP/Today Online reports (AFP/Today Online, 5/5). The document lists six goals -- to be achieved by 2010 -- including providing access to basic services to at least five million children who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS; ensuring that at least 80% of people have access to voluntary HIV testing and counseling services; ensuring that 80% of people have access to condoms for HIV prevention; and ensuring that all HIV-positive people living with TB have access to antiretroviral drugs and counseling (African Civil Society Coalition on HIV and AIDS release, 5/5). The declaration also calls for the promotion of partnerships, research and development and strengthening oversight, evaluation and reporting mechanisms, as well as greater civil society and private sector involvement in controlling the three diseases. African leaders also adopted a common position on the U.N. General Assembly special session on AIDS, which is scheduled for May 31 to June 2 in New York City. AU Chair and Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso will present Africa's position (World Health Organization release, 5/5). In addition, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who hosted the summit, urged more donor funding for the three diseases (AFP/Today Online, 5/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.