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Ambition And Partnerships Can Defeat HIV, TB, Malaria

“Today we are at a turning point for making historical gains in Liberia’s health sector — where no child dies of malaria and every mother living with HIV can give birth to HIV-negative children while living healthy lives themselves,” Liberia President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf writes in the Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog. “It would have been impossible to make these strides towards defeating these diseases without the international donor support of our partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” she continues. “While we still appeal for donor support to help push us past the tipping point of defeating these diseases, we also recognize the paramount need to increase investments in our own country’s health programs,” she writes, adding, “For, at the end of the day, we must take responsibility for our own lives. Liberia has the potential to be a prosperous nation, but this will only be possible with a healthy population.”

“Nevertheless, I fully support the Global Fund’s request for $15 billion from donors for 2014-16, which is crucial for scaling up current health programs that are keeping hospital beds in malaria wards empty; preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS while keeping people still living with HIV alive and healthy; and effectively treating TB,” Johnson-Sirleaf writes. “Defeating these pandemics may be an ambitious goal, but only by being ambitious can we achieve great things,” she states, adding, “I will not allow my fellow compatriots to be held hostage to the diseases we have the science and strategy to defeat through effective partnerships with organizations such as the Global Fund” (6/24).