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Posts Tagged ‘Millennium Development Goals’

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) held a panel discussion Wednesday to assess the global health outcomes of the G8 and G20 summits held in Canada last month, where world leaders pledged to reduce maternal and child mortality through the Muskoka Initiative for Maternal and Child Health.

Participants discussed the financial commitments made by G8 nations to reach Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 and 5, which deal with reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, respectively. HIV/AIDS was not addressed. Panelists included Jennifer Kates of the Kaiser Family Foundation and J. Stephen Morrison of CSIS. They were joined by Leonard Edwards, the Canadian Prime Minister’s Personal Representative to the G8 and G20 summits, and by Mark Abdoo, Director for Global Health and Food Security on the White House National Security staff.

G8 members committed to contributing an additional $5 billion for the next five years, which will be used to strengthen country-led national health systems in developing countries. Funding will enable delivery on key interventions along the continuum of care, from pre-pregnancy to early childhood.

G8 leaders anticipate that the Muskoka Initiative will mobilize more than $10 billion over the next five years. Already the governments of the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Spain, and Switzerland have collectively pledged $800,000, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $1.5 billion over the next five years.

In the past, the global health focus of the G8 has been on reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. However, G8 members have fallen way short of their commitments. In 2005, G8 nations pledged to achieve full universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2010, and pledged to expand HIV/AIDS budgets by $50 million by this year. Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to the UN Secretary General on the MDG, reports that G8 nations have fallen $30 million short on their pledge.

In 2007 in Norway, G8 leaders pledged $1.8 billion to achieve universal access for children to HIV/AIDS treatment by 2010. UNICEF estimates that an additional $649 million is needed to meet their pledge.

HIV/AIDS is the leading killer of women of reproductive age worldwide. The G8 pledged to reduce the number of maternal deaths by 64,000 in the next five years. However, that goal cannot be achieved without integrating HIV/AIDS care into maternal health frameworks. HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment must be included in all discussions of improving maternal and child health, or else the goals set out will not be achieved and the G8 will continue to fail to meet their commitments.

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Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, spoke to a group of global health advocates yesterday at a roundtable discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, as a part of their Future of U.S. Development Assistance for HIV/AIDS roundtable series.  Kazatchkine discussed the unprecedented progress achieved in the last ten years by developing countries in their fights against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria, thanks in part to funding provided by the Global Fund.  He also spoke of the need for donor nations to not only sustain their contributions but increase them in order to achieve Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number 6, which relates to combating HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

At current funding levels, we are nowhere near achieving the HIV/AIDS treatment goals set out in MDG number 6, which call for universal access to treatment for all those who need it.  Without a substantial increase in investments, this goal is unattainable.  There are 2.8 million people receiving HIV treatment through Global Fund supported programs today.  Kazatchkine discussed the importance of providing treatment as a prevention intervention, and emphasized the need to scale-up treatment services.  Thanks to the scale-up of treatment to date, mortality rates have greatly decreased.  For example, mortality rates in Addis Ababa have been reduced by 60 percent.

Efforts to combat HIV/AIDS have resulted in 930,000 HIV-positive pregnant women receiving a complete course of ARV prophylaxis to reduce mother-to-child transmission.  Also, 120 million HIV counseling and testing sessions have been conducted and 4.9 million basic care and support services have been provided to AIDS orphans and vulnerable children.  In addition, 2.3 billion condoms have been distributed.

Kazatchkine highlighted progress on tuberculosis and the Global fund’s contribution to advancing that goal.  The MDG goal is to have a TB incidence rate of 124 per 100,000 by 2016.  Currently the rate of incidence is 164 per 100,000.  Seven million persons have access to TB diagnostic services and treatment through Global Fund-supported programs, a 30 percent increase from mid-2009.

The Global Fund currently provides roughly 20 percent of international resources to fight AIDS, 63 percent of international funding to fight tuberculosis and 60 percent of funding to fight malaria.

According to Kazatzchine, “If donors provide sufficient resources, by 2015 we could virtually eliminate transmission of HIV from mother to child, dramatically reduce deaths from AIDS, prevent many new HIV infections, and achieve significant declines in TB prevalence and mortality.”

Kazatchkine described the achievements as fragile.  An increase in contributions is critical to sustain and to facilitate additional progress in fighting these three infections.  On October 5th donors will pledge their contributions for the next three years, which could greatly influence the outcome of the MDG 6 goal by 2015.  Kazatchkine explained that a total pledge of $17 billion for the next three years is needed to continue to make progress.  Donors contributed $10 billion during the last replenishment period in 2007.

The United States, as the largest contributor the Global Fund, provides 28 percent of funding.  Kazatchkine explained that every dollar received from the U.S. leverages $2 from other donors.  The U.S. must increase its contributions in October in order to achieve the attainable goals of eliminating malaria, and greatly reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis within the next few years.  It is notable that the Administration requested fewer resources for the Global Fund in its fiscal year 2011 budget that Congress had appropriated the year before.

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