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IRIN Examines Impact Of HIV Funding On National Health Care Systems

In an article in its “Building Resilience” series, IRIN examines the impact of HIV funding on health care systems in developing countries, writing, “Some have argued that the AIDS epidemic has helped generate an overall increase in health funding and mobilized an international push for more equitable health care access. But others maintain that the billions of donor dollars spent fighting HIV/AIDS in the last decade have done little to strengthen fragile national health systems.”

“It is difficult to assess whether donor funding has increased resilience, but gains in health status and HIV/AIDS service coverage — such as the number of eligible people receiving antiretrovirals (ARV) and the number of pregnant women receiving services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus — suggest that health-system capacity has been strengthened,” Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and research at the Center for Global Development, said, according to the news service. The news service adds, “And the real test to measure the resilience of health systems is yet to come. ‘We won’t really know if that strengthening can be sustained until donors phase out,’ Glassman told IRIN.” The article also includes comments from Alan Whiteside, executive director of the Health Economics and HIV/AIDS Research Division (HEARD) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Helen Schneider of the School of the Public Health at the University of the Western Cape (Ndaki, 3/6).