During a recent international conference in Vienna for 20,000 AIDS scientists, health workers and activists, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates urged AIDS activists to try to generate the most value possible out of funds set aside for HIV/AIDS prevention services and treatments, including securing access to drugs. Reuters Health and Science Correspondent Kate Kelland highlighted the leaders’ remarks in a recent article:
“The world is awash in troubles. It is easy to rail at a government and say… give us more money. But we also have to change the way we do what we do,” Clinton told the conference. “If we’re going to make this case, they (donor governments) have to believe that we are doing our job faster, better and cheaper. Then we have the moral standing to go ask people to give us more money.”
Gates’ philanthropic organization, the Gates Foundation, spends a large portion of its $34 billion fund on fighting AIDS; he said efficiency was vital to be able to scale up access to AIDS drugs for the 15 million people who need them. “We can’t keep spending AIDS resources in exactly the same way we do today,” he said. “As we… advocate for more funding, we also need to make sure we’re getting the most benefit from each dollar of AIDS funding and every ounce of effort.”
In keeping with this message, Global Health Progress’ recent 3rd Annual African Health Delegation let African officials share experiences, expertise and insights about how they efficiently employ available resources when battling diseases in Africa. These conferences are just one way GHP helps advocacy groups meet Clinton and Gates’ plea to employ “efficiency saving” tactics when delivering treatments and securing access to drugs for countries “hardest hit and at highest risk” by HIV/AIDs and other diseases.
For example, during GHP’s 3rd Annual African Health Delegation, Dr. Robert Einterz, Associate Dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine, described the 20-year-old Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) partnership in Kenya between the Schools of Medicine at Indiana University and Moi University. What started as a joint effort to develop leaders in health care for both the US and Kenya has grown to provide treatment and prevention for HIV/AIDS, testing for HIV and tuberculosis, access to drugs, distribution of bed nets to prevent malaria, food and income security programs and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
Also at the Delegation, Mr. Kris Natarajan, Director, Global Partnerships at Merck, outlined a number of partnerships the company has in Africa, including the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAPS), which is a collaboration between Merck, the Government of Botswana and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
GHP continues to advocate for efficient and effective tactics for HIV/AIDs prevention and treatments through supporting successful public and private partnerships and through determining new ways to secure additional resources, including reliable access to drugs.