U.N. Report Shows Francophone African Countries Lag Behind In AIDS Treatment; NGOs Call For Increased Funding
“Despite great progress within a short time, the 29 French-speaking countries of sub-Saharan Africa are lagging far behind other states in the region in the battle against HIV/AIDS and need a massive increase in international aid, according to a United Nations report” (.pdf) released Friday, the U.N. News Centre reports. The report — titled “Decision Point La Francophonie: No new HIV infections, no one denied treatment” and released at a meeting of the 56-member state International Organization of La Francophonie (IOF) in Kinsasha, Democratic Republic of Congo — said while antiretroviral treatment coverage in IOF countries increased rapidly between 2003 and 2011, resulting in a nearly 30 percent decline in AIDS-related deaths, “an estimated 970,000 people are still waiting to access life-saving HIV treatment in IOF countries, accounting for 14 percent of the global treatment gap,” according to the news service.
“IOF countries in sub-Saharan Africa achieved 43 percent coverage of HIV treatment in 2011, compared to 59 percent coverage in non-IOF countries in the region”; “only 15 percent of children eligible for HIV treatment are receiving it”; and only 36 percent of pregnant women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa IOF countries are receiving ARVs to prevent mother-to-child transmission, compared with 62 percent among non-IOF countries in the region, the news service notes. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe noted “an additional $1.4 billion in international aid, a 160 percent increase over current funding levels, will be needed annually by 2015 to fill the gap, together with a $120 million increase by the countries themselves,” according to the U.N. News Centre (10/12). At the meeting, about 50 non-governmental organizations delivered an open letter calling on France to “allocate a substantial part of the tax on financial transactions to development issues, including the right to health and the struggle against HIV/AIDS” and IOF countries to increase their donations to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Agence France-Presse reports (10/13).
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.