HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria mortality rates down

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pretoria - African countries have seen a decline in HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and malaria mortality rates, says the 2010 Result Report released by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The report, which was released on Monday, shows an outstanding progress in fighting the three diseases, particularly in Africa and how its investments have helped accelerate progress towards achieving the MDGs.

Up to December 2009, AIDS mortality has decreased in many high burden countries with 2.5 million people currently on antiretrovirals , a level of coverage deemed unattainable less than a decade ago.

"790 000 HIV positive pregnant women in low and middle income countries received antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent mother to child transmission, which represents 45 percent coverage of women in need," the report states.

"Today countries are on track to meet the international target of halving TB prevalence by 2015."

The report further noted an increasing number of countries reporting a reduction in malaria deaths of more that 50 percent.

At least 10 of the most endemic countries in Africa have reported declines in new malaria cases and an impressive decline in child mortality of 50 to 80 percent, the report said.

Executive Director of the Global Fund, Professor Michel Kazatchkine said 2010 will be a turning point.

"This is the year we decide if we will meet the health related MDGs. We could come close, reach or even exceed them, but only if we continue to scale up at the pace set in recent years.

"We can do this and we must do this, both for public health and human rights."

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi welcomed the report adding that it shows the enormous contribution made by the Global Fund in reducing morbidity and morality caused by HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria.

"We remain committed to fight HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria. It is our hope that the donors will be persuaded by this report and open their purses even under theses difficult economic circumstances.