Op-Ed: First Lady’s Upcoming Africa Trip; Developed Nations Commitment To World’s Poor

Michelle Obama Can Highlight ‘Disproportionate Impact’ of HIV/AIDS on Women, Girls During Africa Visit

When first lady Michelle Obama travels to Ghana with the President in July she has the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the “disproportionate impact of AIDS on women and girls” worldwide, in turn helping to “strengthen the AIDS response – at home and abroad,” Janet Fleischman, senior associate at the Global Health Policy Center of the Center for Strategic and International Studies writes in an allAfrica.com guest column.

By “[a]ddressing the social and economic barriers that women and girls face in accessing AIDS prevention and treatment services; [s]ensibly integrating HIV/AIDS with family planning programs; and [e]nsuring the involvement of women and girls, including women living with HIV, in the design and implementation of AIDS programs” Fleischman writes that Obama could help to strengthen “women in their communities to respond to the AIDS crisis.” Fleischman concludes, “Mrs. Obama has urged girls to believe in their dreams and to control their destinies. In taking on global Aids, she has the chance to help ensure that women and girls use those messages to save their lives” (Fleischman, allAfrica.com, 5/29).

New York Times Editorial Calls For Wealthy Countries To Keep Promises To Help The World’s Poorest

Regardless of the current economic crisis, “developed countries must not overlook the particular vulnerability of the world’s poor,” a New York Times editorial says, pointing to a recent WHO health statistics survey that found many developing countries are falling short of the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

While the report “underscores some undeniable accomplishments,” it also “shows that far too many people are still dying of preventable causes in the poorest countries,” according to the editorial. “The problem is lack of resources,” says the editorial, which notes that last year “development aid from all of the rich countries rose more than 10 percent in 2008, to $120 billion. Still, that aid is short of the declared goal of $145 billion a year by 2010.” The editorial concludes, “Wealthy countries promised nearly a decade ago to help the world’s poorest to emerge from the deepest poverty. This is the wrong time to stop” (New York Times, 5/30).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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