On June 5th, 1981, the U.S Centres for Disease control recorded a cluster of Pneumocystis cariniipneumonia, in five men in Los Angeles. Pneumocystosis, as it is also known, is a form of pneumonia. It is one of the most common opportunistic diseases that blights the lives of people living with HIV. Pneumocystosis is very commonly found in the lungs of healthy people but causes infection in people who have weakened immune systems. These five men became the first victims of the disease we now know as AIDS, but they weren’t to be the last.
We are pleased to announce our Action call for July, titled: ‘A child’s life saved every forty seconds’ what comes next for vaccines? The aim of this month’s action is to develop long term financial support from the European Commission for both the GAVI alliance and for research and development into new vaccines for diseases like TB, Malaria and HIV/AIDS.
TB kills 1.7 million people every year or 4,500 every day. TB is also the biggest killer of people living with HIV and the third largest cause of death among women of reproductive age. Unlike AIDS, TB is treatable and curable in all but the most extreme cases. What is lacking is not the relevant medical know-how, but the political will and funds to combat the disease.
December 1st, is World Aids Day. On this day, and every day this year, 1000 children will be born infected with HIV.
A coalition of organisations including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the Gates Foundation and the ONE Foundation are undertaking a campaign to scale up ‘prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV’ (PMTCT) services to ensure that no child is born with HIV by 2015.
In many of the world’s poorest countries, access to healthcare is a privilege reserved for the minority who can afford to pay for it. When user fees are removed from healthcare there is a dramatic increase in the use of healthcare services, particularly among the poor. As there is a strong association between higher use of outpatient services and lower mortality rates among women and children, this is excellent news!
Ten years ago eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by UN member nations and agreed to be met by 2015. Since then, we have seen noticeable reductions in poverty and increases in access to basic services around the world. However, progress towards many of the MDGs has slowed and if the targets are to be met by 2015, countries must re-commit to the goals they set out to achieve a decade ago.
As one of the most effective bodies funding health in the developing world, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is facing a funding crisis. These three diseases kill more than 5 million people every year.
This month we will be visiting our newly-elected MPs to help them to understand how they can become strong champions for international development. We will be looking in detail at the upcoming G8 summit in Canada in June, at which there are plans to announce a major initiative designed to tackle the millions of mothers and children dying from preventable causes every year.
Tuberculosis, or TB, still kills over 2 million people every year - that's 5,000 every day - yet tackling this tragedy remains a low priority for governments around the world.
This month in the lead up to World TB day, (the 24th of March), and with the UK general election approaching, we will be focusing on how to ensure TB is not dropped from the political agenda.
Our expert guest speaker this month is Nikki Jeffreys of Target TB.
As the new decade begins we look back on progress that has been made towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since the year 2000. Greater commitment is needed if we are to reach the goals by the target date of 2015.