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Emnet Assefa

The United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and Global medical journal, Lancet, announced the launch of a new commission to tackle HIV/AIDS and insure sustainable health.

The new commission is tasked to explore post 2015 agenda on AIDS and global health and will be co-chaired by Joyce Banda, President of Malawi, Dr.Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of AUC and Peter Piot, Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

According to Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of USAIDS, a number of officials including the presidents of Ghana and Benin as well as the former president of Brazil, Lula Da Silva, are confirmed as commissioners of the new commission.

“Even if progresses have been made in investing in health in Africa there is still a gap,” says Sidibe adding the number of people receiving treatments against the HIV/AIDS have grown to 7 million today from 1 million in 2005, “yet another 1.2 million people are dying of AIDS every year,” the Director said.

During the 21st AU heads of states and governments summit, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, the current chairperson of the AU, asked more than 30 African heads of state to appeal to everyone to support the Global Fund’s goal of raising US$ 15 billion in its once-every-three-years replenishment effort. This appeal has also been made by the President of Malawi,  Joyce Banda, who said, “this disease stands on our way of development so we need to push further.”

The Global Fund for HIV has now designed new ways of financing projects in an effort to address priority areas, according to Mark Dybul, The Find’s Executive Director. “We have changed the entire business making strategies so that we are now a better partner to create a platform that can be used for broader health which is what the national health strategies are looking for us to do.”

Established in 2002, The Global Fund has served as the main source of financing the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in 151 countries until 2011 when cuts were made to the Fund because of the economic crisis in the developed world. So far the Global Fund has raised money for HIV/AIDS treatment for 4.2 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 9.7 million people and has distributed 310 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria.

Caption: UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe and President Joyce Banda

Photo credit: Addis Standard

 

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