Thursday, December 07, 2006

HIV-AIDS funding crowding out other health programs?

This brief piece from the Center for Global Development warns that HIV/AIDS programs may be crowding out other health initiatives in a competition for scarce resources.

The piece pointed out:

For instance, over the years 1998 to 2003, as funding for HIV/AIDS grew from 9 percent to 43 percent of overall U.S. foreign assistance for health and population, funding in the health sector strengthening category nearly vanished, declining from 20 percent to just 1 percent. Aggregate funding for all other major causes stagnated, save for infectious disease control. We see similar trends among other donors and within developing countries.

The editorial notes that as serious as the AIDS pandemic is, HIV/AIDS related deaths comprised around 5 percent of total mortality in low and middle-income countries.

In addition to rapping the HIV-AIDS lobby's insularity, it argues that funding to strengthen the public health sector should be given more priority since it would help efforts to combat not only HIV-AIDS but other health crises.

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