Over the next three years, the Global Fund is on track to save eight million lives because thirty-five some odd countries came together to do the right thing. It is a truly remarkable achievement. The countries that contributed should be commended.
Older women/grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa are rarely recognized or included in programs and policies addressing HIV/AIDS, health-care strengthening and development assistance. Yet they are at the centre of the pandemic.
By the time Loyce was 10, both her mother and her younger brother had died of AIDS and tuberculosis. She didn't know she was suffering from the same diseases until she was diagnosed two years later, and her young and difficult life was once again turned upside down.
Global leaders pledged over US$12.9 billion dollars which will help save 8 million lives and stop an additional 300 million new infections worldwide by 2019, as well as contribute to ending these deadly diseases as epidemics by 2030. This is truly a promising horizon.
As Montreal gears up to host the biggest leaders in global health, it is our hope that Canada will go well beyond provision of international aid, and find a way to harness the abundant scientific talent in Canada. Doing so will not only amplify the financial contributions by Canadians, but also show our global solidarity.
More than half of the world's child deaths occur in fragile places like South Sudan and Afghanistan. Yet Canada only commits 25 per cent of its official development budget to these areas. To go the distance to reach the world's most vulnerable people, the figure needs to change.
This time of year, parents are acutely aware of the complexities of raising a child. But imagine if another variable -- a potentially deadly disease -- could affect your child at any moment. For millions of people around the world, uncertainty is a daily reality.
Dollars are desperately needed to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, but they will not stretch very far if the international trade barriers that currently restrict access to essential medicines continue to prevent low-income people and countries from getting the treatments they need.
According to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 45 per cent, malaria death rates are down by 60 per cent and tuberculosis mortality has diminished by 47 per cent. These are exciting achievements, but not nearly as exciting as the possibility of ending those diseases for good.
In many parts of Africa, there are women who have no way of negotiating the choice, or use, of contraceptives with a partner. There are women in relationships who have no option of refusing sex, nor the power to require use of a condom. While HIV infections among the general population of eastern and southern Africa have been plummeting, it has resurfaced and started to grow among adolescent girls and young women.