International AIDS Conference 2006 – Oxfam urges massive investment in health systems
Toronto - Oxfam International today urged donor nations and developing country governments to scale up their investment in health systems to address the critical shortage of health workers and crumbling infrastructure.
“For the first time in human history, we have the resources to stop HIV/AIDS from killing millions of people. What we do not know is whether our leaders will muster the generosity to save these lives,” said Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni, senior health and HIV policy advisor for Oxfam International. “We must see signs of serious commitment to saving lives at this week’s conference.”
Oxfam estimates 4.2 million new trained health workers are needed today. The agency calls on:
Donor countries to provide direct financial support for the health budgets of poor countries.
Developing countries to invest in training, recruitment and retention of health workers, providing special packages to female health workers in rural areas.
The International Monetary Fund to end harmful restrictions on public spending that keep poor countries from paying reasonable wages to health workers, purchasing medical equipment and supplies and improving clinics and hospitals.
To achieve universal access, Oxfam also urges:
Donors to fund Round 6 of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and provide long-term, predictable resources to enable GFATM’s continued viability and impact.
African governments to spend at least 15% of national budgets on health.
Developing countries to make use of flexibilities in WTO intellectual property rules (TRIPS) to make medicines, especially second line treatment, affordable.
Pharmaceutical companies to undertake production of pediatric formulae of antiretrovirals.
Pharmaceutical companies to massively reduce prices of second line antiretrovirals.
For more information, please contact:
Mark Fried, +1 613-850-9723
Taylor Thompson, +1 202-321-2967