Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

G8 Countries Set Priorities for Infectious Diseases but Fail to Make Progress on Debt Relief

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

G8 Countries Set Priorities for Infectious Diseases but Fail to Make Progress on Debt Relief

Article excerpt

Leaders of the world's wealthiest countries committed themselves at a meeting held on 22-23 July to achieve ambitious targets to reduce the prevalence of malaria, tuberculosis and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In a lavish summit in Okinawa, Japan, the heads of the Group of Eight (G8) nations noted that health is key to prosperity and pledged to go much further in fighting these three diseases, which particularly affect the developing world.

"Only through sustained action and coherent international cooperation to fully mobilize new and existing medical, technical and financial resources, can we strengthen health delivery systems and reach beyond traditional approaches to break the vicious cycle of disease and poverty," the G8 said in a final statement.

The leaders promised to work with the World Health Organization to meet three targets by 2010: a 25% reduction in the number of young people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, a 50% decrease in mortality due to tuberculosis, and a 50% reduction in the number of malaria cases.

Specifics will be drawn up at an international conference to be convened in Japan in the autumn, but several G8 countries, including the European nations and Japan, have already pledged additional resources to tackle these three diseases. The G8 also said it would address the contentious issue of how to make pharmaceuticals more cheaply available in developing countries. …

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