British Government Pledges $38M to Myanmar’s TB, Malaria, HIV/AIDS Fund
U.K. International Development Minister Gareth Thomas on Wednesday announced that the British government will give $38 million to Myanmar's Three Diseases Fund, which was established to compensate for grants that were suspended by the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Financial Times reports (Kazmin, Financial Times, 8/9). The Global Fund in August 2005 announced a suspension of its grants to Myanmar, citing travel and other restrictions implemented by the country's government that impede the delivery of medical supplies and services. The fund in 2004 pledged to spend $98 million over five years to fight the three diseases in the country (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/19). The 3D Fund will support the provision of insecticide-treated nets for malaria prevention, increased access to TB diagnosis and treatment and the promotion of condom use and expanded HIV testing, treatment and care. International groups already working in Myanmar, U.N. agencies, community based organizations, the private sector and local health officials likely will participate in the expansion of health care services in the country, according to the Times (Financial Times, 8/9). In addition to the U.K. Department for International Development, the European Commission, the Australian government aid program AusAID, Sweden's Sida, the Netherlands and Norway pledged donations to help establish the 3D Fund (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/19). About 97,000 new TB cases and 12,000 TB deaths are recorded in Myanmar annually, and malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children under age five in the country. According to UNAIDS, up to 610,000 people, or 2.2% of the population, are living with HIV in Myanmar (Financial Times, 8/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.