The World Bank pioneered global HIV and AIDS financing early in the emergency and remains committed to achieving Millennium Development Goal 6, to halt by 2015 and begin to reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS, through prevention, care, treatment, and mitigation services for those affected by HIV and AIDS.
Read More »
On first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day, all countries urged to make quality health coverage accessible to everyone, everywhere.NEW YORK, 12 December 2014 – A new global coalition of more than 500... Show More + leading health and development organizations worldwide is urging governments to accelerate reforms that ensure everyone, everywhere, can access quality health services without being forced into poverty. The coalition was launched today, on the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day, to stress the importance of universal access to health services for saving lives, ending extreme poverty, building resilience against the health effects of climate change and ending deadly epidemics such as Ebola.Universal Health Coverage Day marks the two-year anniversary of a United Nations resolution, unanimously passed on 12 December 2012, which endorsed universal health coverage as a pillar of sustainable development and global security. Despite progress in combatting global killers such as HIV/AIDS and vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, tetanus and diphtheria, the global gap between those who can access needed health services without fear of financial hardship and those who cannot is widening. Each year, 100 million people fall into poverty because they or a family member becomes seriously ill and they have to pay for care out of their own pockets. Around one billion people worldwide can’t even access the health care they need, paving the way for disease outbreaks to become catastrophic epidemics.“The need for equitable access to quality health care has never been greater, and there is unprecedented demand for universal health coverage around the world,” said Michael Myers, Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation, which is spearheading Universal Health Coverage Day. “Universal health coverage is an idea whose time has come – because health for all saves lives, strengthens nations and is achievable and affordable for every country.”For much of the 20th century, universal health coverage was limited to a few high-income countries, but in the past two decades, a number of lower- and middle-income countries have successfully embraced reforms to make quality health care universally available. Countries as diverse as Brazil, Ghana, Mexico, Rwanda, Turkey and Thailand have made tremendous progress toward universal health coverage in recent years. Today, the two most populous countries, India and China, are pursuing universal health coverage, and more than 80 countries have asked the World Health Organization for implementation assistance.“Putting people's health needs ahead of their ability to pay stems poverty and stimulates growth,” said Dr. Tim Evans, Senior Director for the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Group. “Universal health coverage is an essential ingredient to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity within a generation.”The 500+ organizations participating in the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day coalition represent a diverse cross-section of global health and development issues, including infectious diseases, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases and palliative care. Across these issues, knowledge and technologies exist to save and improve lives in significant numbers, but the impact of these tools is severely hampered by lack of equitable access to quality health services.“Ebola is only the most recent example of why universal health coverage is the most powerful concept in public health,” said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization. “Investing in strong, equitable health systems is the only way to truly protect and improve lives, particularly in the face of emerging threats like the global rise of non-communicable diseases and increasingly severe natural disasters.”Events in 25 Countries Mark First-Ever Universal Health Coverage DayOrganizations around the world are calling on policymakers to prioritize universal health coverage, and are hosting events on 12 December to catalyze action, including:New York, USA: High-level event on Ebola and resilience, organized by the Permanent Missions of France, Japan, Germany and Senegal to the United Nations, in collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.London, UK: Expert panel at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on creating resilient, equitable health systems, organized in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and Action for Global Health.New Delhi, India: High-level event on universal health coverage implementation in both India and the global context, convened by the Public Health Foundation of India, Oxfam India and the World Health Organization Country Office for India.Additional Partner Remarks"Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and investments in health systems can accelerate global efforts to ensure access to healthcare to anyone who needs it, leaving no one behind. UHC can help us galvanize progress towards achieving all the health-related Millennium Development Goals and ending preventable deaths, particularly among the most vulnerable populations – women, children and adolescents – as well as communities beyond 2015. With universal coverage, we can foster greater equity, empower countless individuals, and contribute to a life of dignity for all."-Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General“India’s health reform movement coincides with this global crusade for UHC at a crucial time, when the country’s population faces impoverishment due to rising healthcare costs, emerging and new disease outbreaks and a health system badly in need of integrated services, better access and more robust primary health care. UHC would provide an ideal framework to address many of these pressing issues in a comprehensive manner.”-Dr. Priya Balasubramaniam-Kakkar, Senior Public Health Scientist, Public Health Foundation of India“If we invest in our health systems now—which we know yields an impressive return for the investment—we can build an Africa where individuals, families, and entire nations reach their full potential.”-Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health of Rwanda“Strong health systems that reach everyone, everywhere are crucial to fight HIV, TB and malaria.”-Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria"Health care is not a commodity or privilege, but a human right."-Dr. Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and former Minister of Health of Mexico“Universal health coverage secures health and well-being for women and girls everywhere.”-Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary, World YWCA“To be effective, universal health coverage requires a holistic approach to women’s health – including universal access to their reproductive health and rights.”-Katja Iversen, Chief Executive Officer, Women Deliver“The right to sexual and reproductive health is central to health for all and vital to the future we want.”-Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UNFPA"With universal health coverage Ebola outbreaks would be contained faster and more effectively."-Dr. Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine“Universal health protection is key to fighting poverty, reducing inequity and nurturing economic growth. Sustainable development with decent jobs for all requires investment in health protection – these linkages cannot be ignored in policy development.”-Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization“Save the Children is campaigning for every child to receive the essential health care they need to survive and fulfil their potential. Robust health systems not only prevent crises like the current Ebola outbreak, but are also the foundation of efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths.”-Jasmine Whitbread, CEO, Save the Children InternationalAbout The Rockefeller FoundationFor more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation's mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas—advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities—to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot—or will not. For more information, please visit www.rockefellerfoundation.org.About the World Bank GroupThe World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. Working in more than 100 countries, the World Bank Group provides financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. For more information on the Bank Group’s work in health, nutrition, and population, please visit www.worldbank.org/health. About the World Health Organization (WHO)WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, improving global health security, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. For more information, please visit http://www.who.int/whr/2010/en/. Show Less -
Thirty years ago, newspaper headlines were rife with news of a virus that even doctors were unfamiliar with. Little was known about a strange epidemic that later would take the lives of music legends ... Show More +such as Freddy Mercury and Héctor Lavoe and several Hollywood stars.Today we know that the disease does not distinguish by sex, race or religion. It is the same illness that has killed 25 million people worldwide. Nowadays it is an old acquaintance whose name is no longer a novelty: AIDS.The characteristics of the epidemic differ by region. 69% of people infected with HIV live in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, and only half of them receive antiretroviral therapy. By contrast, in Asia the epidemic is concentrated among sex workers and intravenous-drug users. “In the case of Latin America, the virus is prevalent among men who have sex with men. The epidemic is kept hidden due to the stigma of people living with HIV and discrimination with respect to sexual orientation,” says Fernando Lavadenz, senior health expert at the World Bank.The Latin American and Caribbean region has substantially reduced HIV prevalence during the past decade. “It went from being the region with the worst burden of HIV-AIDS death and illness in the 2000s to being the fourth most affected region after Sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia and east and central Europe in 2010,” says Lavadenz.Access to treatment is the keyToday, the HIV epidemic in the region has stabilized: more than 1.6 million Latin Americans are affected, but according to UNAIDS data, AIDS-related deaths declined by 36 % between 2001 and 2012. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that currently, 600,000 more people are receiving antiretroviral therapy in the region as compared with 2003.Argentina is a case in point. “The disease burden has been significantly reduced by several factors, including, and perhaps most importantly, the free, universal access to antiretroviral drugs,” explains Lavadenz.A World Bank study carried out with support from UNAIDS reported that thanks to available treatments, at least 4,300 people were saved from illness in Argentina between 2001 and 2010. The country allocates 80% of total HIV/AIDS spending to care and treatment, compared to a regional average of 75%. “It is also a question of knowing how to spend well,” says Lavadenz. The study found that despite the high cost of antiretroviral drugs in Argentina, the National AIDS program is cost beneficial. “The benefits were not only in lives saved but also in savings of over US$ 748 million in Argentina, estimating the costs saved in the complicated treatment of people with advanced disease and the transmission that was avoided,” says the expert.“This is a successful case in which HIV treatment was the best prevention and a good lesson for Latin America,” he says.Laws in favorAlong with Brazil, Argentina was one of the first countries to provide free treatment to people living with HIV. The National AIDS Law, among other mechanisms, mandated the government and all other health providers to provide medical, pharmacological and psychological treatment to people living with HIV.“In Argentina, more than 80% of reported HIV cases have received treatment, which the WHO defines as universal access,” says Lavadenz.Additionally, the equal marriage law – Argentina is the first Latin American country to support same-sex marriage – and the gender identity law – the only law in the world that upholds the rights of transsexuals– have favored HIV prevention and treatment. “These laws made the country a pioneer in reducing the stigma,” says Lavadenz. “Less stigma, less shame in going to a hospital, taking a test or receiving medical attention in a democratic, non-discriminatory way.” Show Less -
SAMBURU, December 1, 2014 - For generations, the pastorialists of Samburu, a nomadic county 400 kilometers north of Nairobi, have roamed from place to place in search of water and pasture for the... Show More +ir animals.“In such nomadic communities, it is sometimes common for children born with disabilities and HIV/AIDS to be abandoned by their families because they cannot help them herd animals in distant fields,” says Grace Seneiya, who opened a school for disabled children living with HIV/AIDS in Samburu. "I met a blind boy who had been abandoned by his parents when I was teaching at a small school in Barangui. I had to take him in."The Samburu Handicapped Education and Rehabilitation Program (SHERP) received a $4000 grant to train health workers to ensure that the 150 disabled children living with HIV/AIDS at SHERP had access to nutrition, medicine, and home care that they required."One of the causes of disability is that many women here do not go to hospitals to deliver babies with the help of a skilled health professional," says Grace. Maternal mortality in Kenya is among Africa's highest at 488 deaths per 100,000 live births. The proportion of women who deliver with skilled attendance is only 44 percent and has remained largely unchanged since 1993.SHERP is one of the more than 10,000 community-based organizations in Kenya who received a grant to help respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic nationwide. Supported by $135 million dollars in funding from the World Bank, this component of the Total War Against HIV and AIDS (TOWA) Project empowers community-based organizations such as SHERP to expand the coverage of HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation activities in their local communities. Through this project, communities are empowered to create, implement, and manage smaller projects that contribute to the national response to HIV/AIDS. Kenya has the fourth largest HIV epidemic in the world. In 2012, an estimated 1.6 million people were living with HIV and roughly 57,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses. There are now 1.1 million orphans to the epidemic. The epidemic varies in different parts of the country with the Nyanza province with the highest overall prevalence of 15 percent, followed by Nairobi with 10 percent.Through TOWA, Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Control Counsel, distributed over 3 million insecticide treated bed nets and 300 million condoms nationwide. It also funded grants to more than 10,000 community based organizations to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. As a result, between 2007 and 2012, HIV prevalence was reduced from 7.2% to 5.6% and new infections declined by 40%.Community-based organizations have helped contribute to the national response to HIV/AIDS, by empowering communities to respond to local changes. Show Less -