Almost 5 Million Lives Saved Through AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Treatment

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This is the VOA Special English Health Report.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created in two thousand two.  It is an alliance of business, government and civilian partnerships.  A new report from the Global Fund says almost five million lives have been saved through the six hundred programs it supports.

The programs operate in one hundred forty-four countries, many in sub-Saharan Africa. The Global Fund has approved proposals for more than nineteen billion dollars to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The report says two and one-half million people infected with HIV now are being treated with antiretroviral medicines.  It says there has been a major decrease in AIDS deaths in many countries as a result.

The report also says about six million people with active tuberculosis are being treated for the disease.  The number of deaths from TB is dropping around the world.

The Global Fund has given out more than one hundred million bed nets in its battle against malaria.  The bed nets are treated with a poison to kill mosquitoes.  The report says ten of the countries in Africa with the highest cases of malaria have reported decreases in new cases.  An increasing number of countries are reporting a drop of more than fifty percent in malaria deaths, the report says.

Rifat Atun is director of strategy, performance and evaluation at the Global Fund.  He says the programs the fund supports saved at least three thousand six hundred lives every day last year.  And he says more lives can be saved in the future if the programs continue to receive the money they need.

RIFAT ATUN: "We can, for example, given the rate of investment, eliminate malaria as a public health problem, we can prevent millions of more HIV infections and also in tuberculosis. But most importantly, we can look to a world that is free of HIV infection in children.  We can virtually eliminate transmission of HIV from mother to child."

The Global Fund was established as a financial tool.  It has several guiding ideas.  It works to support programs that come from national plans and goals.  It tries to find balance in dealing with places, diseases and interventions.  And the Global Fund is open in its work to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption.

Most of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria comes from the worlds leading industrial nations.

And thats the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Caty Weaver with reporting by Lisa Schlein.  For more health news, go to voaspecialenglish.com.  Im Steve Ember.

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