Tuesday, July 06, 2010

African Union report says continent is "winning war on AIDS"

A new report from the African Union says that member states are making strides in defeating AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The report shows a reduction in new AIDS infections over the last four years. The new report also says that governments have recently increased the amount of money in health budgets.

From the Daily Nation, writer Paul Juma unpacks the report for us.

The report on the AU Conference of Ministers on Health, assessed how the continent was faring on with programmes to increase access to health services.

Dubbed, Five-Year Review of the Abuja call for Accelerated Action Towards Universal Access to HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services by 2010, the report was published ahead of an AU meeting to take place later this month in Uganda.

Malaria deaths had reduced due to artemisin treatment coupled with increased supply of treated nets and indoor residual spray, says the report.

“At the end of 2009, six AU member states had reached the goal of allocating 15 per cent or more of their national budgets to health,” it said on funding.

That goal is among others agreed on by AU health ministers under the Abuja Declaration of 2001 (a set of health goals for African countries) and later the Abuja Call, reached in 2006.

The report, which covered the last four years, also notes that more than half of African countries had allocated at least nine per cent of their national expenditures to health.

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