Global health targets threatened by declining donor support

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World Health Organization

Declining donor support is likely to affect the attainment of global health targets including those of HIVAIDS according to the World Health Organization.

WHO says the UN Millennium development goal of having 15 million HIV positive people on antiretroviral treatment by 2015 will not be met mainly as a result of serious financial constraints facing major donors and governments.

Speaking at the start of the annual World Health Assembly, WHO Director General Margaret Chan said cutting support for diseases such as HIVAIDS can be dangerous.

Dr Chan said WHO is supporting the development of low cost health care innovations to deliver primary health care services especially in developed countries.

“Our traditional financial donors are under intense domestic pressure to demonstrate that official development assistance is being wisely invested. This can be dangerous, especially for a disease like HIV/AIDS.  In these difficult financial times, I see an extremely dangerous tendency to measure how much health can be bought for a given amount of money. Saving a life with a vaccine is unquestionably far cheaper and more immediate than keeping someone with AIDS alive. It is also less demanding on health systems. In my view, human life cannot be valued, or devalued, or discounted in this way. These medicines are a lifeline for a lifetime. The only ethically acceptable exit strategy is to stop new infections in the first place.”

Duration 55"

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