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Opinions: Don’t Slow Fight Against HIV, TB, Malaria; U.S. Focus On Women, Girls

2010 To Be ‘Decisive Year’ For Global Health, Global Fund Director Says

In a BusinessDay opinion piece, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Michel Kazatchkine reflects on the organization’s progress and impact on global health outcomes since its creation in 2002, as detailed in the organizations’ 2010 annual report. Kazatchkine writes, 2010 “will be a decisive year; the world will be reviewing progress on the millennium goals. But this is also the year of the fund’s replenishment. The results of that will decide where the world will be in 2015 with regard to the millennium goals.”

He continues, “If we continue to scale up rapidly, we could reach them: malaria may be eliminated as a public health problem in most endemic countries; millions more HIV infections may be prevented; the growing threat of multidrug-resistant TB may be contained; and we may virtually eliminate transmission of HIV from mother to child. … Let us not forget that even today, despite the progress made, only half of the people in urgent need have access to life-saving treatment. Let us celebrate what we have achieved, and resolve not to slow down our efforts now” (3/8).

Investment In Women, Development, Diplomacy Is Essential

In a Politico opinion piece coinciding with International Women’s Day, President of NoLimits.org Ann Lewis and former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) write: “Investment in women and girls’ education and empowerment is increasingly recognized as a linchpin to advancing social, economic and political progress in most poor countries. Girls with just one year of formal education are less likely to suffer from illness or hunger and are more likely to avoid teen pregnancy, and their children are less likely to die in infancy. Microfinance loans for women entrepreneurs build more stable communities, because they invest proceeds in their families and communities.”  

Lewis and Molinari continue: “Spending on human and economic development now – on education, basic health and infrastructure – is a smart investment. That’s why Democrats and Republicans agree that more resources are needed for these programs, including funds for agricultural development, health and women and girls. As Congress begins debate on the president’s budget request, they would do well to consider just how much funding the International Affairs budget matters to the United States’ security and future. In today’s world, it is imperative that we adequately support our diplomacy and development efforts,” they write (3/8).