Equity in Health

AFRICA: Activists cautiously welcome Bush pledge

The enthusiasm surrounding last month's proposal by US President George W Bush to triple government spending on HIV/AIDS in Africa has been tempered with calls from activists for more practical details. In his State of the Union address, Bush urged Congress to approve US $15 billion in funds to battle HIV/AIDS in the hardest-hit countries in Africa and the Caribbean over the next five years. But activists were cautiously optimistic. "The exact details of the president's plan for global AIDS are still unclear. We could be shipping AIDS medications to hospitals and clinics next month, not promising to treat two million people in five years," treatment lobby group, Act-Up Philadelphia said in a statement.

Further details: /newsletter/id/29596
DOTS -Availability and Implementation

Nearly 2 billion people, one-third of the world's population, is infected with the tuberculosis bacillus and at risk of developing active disease. Of the 8.4 million people who develop active TB every year 2 million die from it. There are two types of problems associated with DOTS. One is the non-availability of the treatment program and the other, the less than satisfactory implementation of it. Despite the proven potency DOTS (directly-observed treatment short-course) strategy and widespread agreement on its efficacy, many developing countries have failed proper implementation and expansion of the DOTS program.

WORKING TOWARD GREATER EQUITY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS, MALARIA, AND TUBERCULOSIS
Statement by Participants in a November 2001 Bellagio Workshop

Organized by the Rockefeller Foundation in collaboration with the World Bank and the World Health Organization. The growing efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis have the potential to bring major benefits to the disadvantaged, as well as produce an important reduction in overall disease burden. However, realizing this potential and securing better health among less favored populations will require a determined effort. There is need both to modify the inequitable patterns of disease risks and consequences and to pursue aggressively a more equitable distribution of benefits from programs dealing with HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Further details: /newsletter/id/29123
World Disasters Report 2001: Focuses on recovery
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Disasters disrupt life, livelihoods, economies, political systems, belief systems - in short, everything that makes society work. The 2001
edition of the World Disasters Report looks at how humanitarian agencies and governments can best help disaster-affected communities to recover, to become stronger and more disaster resilient. How can the gaps between short-term relief and longer-term recovery be bridged?Published annually since 1993, the World Disasters Report brings together the latest trends, facts and analysis of the world's ever-growing humanitarian crises.

World Health Organization Grants 'Official Relations' to Corporate Watchdog

In an important step by the World Health Organization (WHO), the international health body is granting official WHO relations status to Infact, the US-based corporate accountability organization. In approving the admission of Infact and INGCAT (the International Non Governmental Coalition Against Tobacco), the WHO's governing board noted both organizations' advocacy work in support of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). With a 25 year history of challenging life-threatening abuses of giant corporations, Infact will bring its corporate accountability expertise into its formalized relationship with WHO.

Further details: /newsletter/id/29007
$623M for Disease Fight comes up short

The board of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis has voted to send grants of $623 million to poor countries, a $246-million decrease from grants made earlier this year. The amount is considered insufficient in the battle against HIV/AIDS.

'Africa is Poised to Launch a Wide-Scale And Integrated Response to the Aids Epidemic'

The 12th International Conference on AIDS and STDs in Africa opened on Sunday night - amidst all the logistic problems that many participants are still experiencing - in an impressive display of pomp and protocol. But not one openly HIV positive person stood on that platform to address the overflowing hall. We are told that there are 28.1 million people living with HIV in Africa now, perhaps one of those millions could have spoken to us?

'HIV Statistics Are Starting to Improve'

Latest statistics on the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Zambia indicate that slowly things are starting to move in the right direction, out-going first development secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Lusaka Kikkan Haugen has said. Speaking at his farewell party organised by the Family Health Trust yesterday, Haugen said prevalence rates among young girls were down and overall levels of the pandemic were also levelling off.

'Hyper on SARS, silent on WARS' - Will the new WHO DG break the silence?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) would need to broaden its analysis to include the socio-economic and political determinants of people's health and identify and address the impact of global neo-liberal economic policies on the health of the poor, among other things, if it was to truly remain a 'world' body and address the real 'health' needs of ordinary people. This is accroding to a statement by the People's Health Movement congratulating Dr. Jong-Wook Lee as he assumed his position as the new Director-General of the World Health Organisation. Dr Lee, noted the PHM, was taking over the organisation at a time when its relevance to the public health needs of the world's poor and marginalized were at its lowest point in recent history.

Further details: /newsletter/id/29812
'Primary health care remains the best tool to achieve health equity'
People's Health Movement, June 2008

This is the interim position paper of the People's Health Movement (PHM). The comprehensive Primary Health Care (PHC) approach articulated at Alma Ata remains as relevant today as it was 30 years ago. It was never really implemented to reflect its true spirit, i.e. the basic intent of the Alma Ata Declaration which highlighted the need for a new international economic order to ultimately solve inequities in health. A PHC policy for 2008 and beyond needs renewed commitment, which, while affirming the fundamental positions of thirty years back, also takes into account the new realities of this age. In its renewed commitment to PHC in 2008, PHM vies to address the obstacles that have blocked PHC's implementation so far and is furthermore committed to incorporate into it the new challenges that have emerged since 1978. PHM is committed to promote the still unshaken basic principles of the Alma Ata Declaration - way beyond its original eight technical components. PHM insists that PHC is to be embedded in the social and political processes in each specific context where it is applied.

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