Combat HIV, AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Diseases in poorer countries are more debilitating than
in developed countries because of the lack of knowledge
about cures and prevention, the lack of access to supplies
and medical personnel, and gross poverty in general. Many
people like to say that disease knows no boundaries, rich
or poor alike are susceptible, but the truth is poorer nations
whose citizens live in abject poverty are more likely to
suffer many times over someone with resources and access
in an industrialized country.
Malaria is a prime example. Who worries about getting bit by a mosquito in Canada or the US? Yet the disease is prevalent elsewhere and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership states that “today approximately 40% of the world's population mostly those living in the world's poorest countries is at risk... Malaria is found throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world and causes more than 300 million acute illnesses and at least one million deaths annually”.
Tuberculosis is another example. More or less eradicated in Canada and the US, it is devastating to developing nations. The statistics are frightening. The World Bank says, “globally, one person dies of TB every 20 seconds, even though drugs to cure the disease have been available for 50 years. In Africa, TB is the leading killer of people living with HIV/AIDS”.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), an insidious virus, worms its way through every fiber of society. Not only are the infected dying, but whole families are being lost, and children are orphaned. Too many people live with the HIV infection. And many will die of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) as a result. Because of the way in which HIV is transmitted, reproductive health awareness becomes crucial to the prevention of the infection and to the decrease in deaths.
Reproductive health is also important as women are entitled to happy births free of disease and suffering, the right to choose when to have children, and the right to live in humane and caring environments free of discrimination, violence and mutilation.
Therefore, the sixth goal contains targets that address HIV, AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and reproductive health.
Target 1: Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Target 2: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it
Target 3: Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
With the help of many assistance organizations and donations, significant steps have been taken to fight these diseases.
- Combating malaria is making serious advancements. Graphs from the Roll Back Malaria Partnership show that in the Middle East and Eurasia, “many countries may reach 2015 targets. Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan reduce cases and deaths in line with 2010 and 2015 targets”.
- In regards to Tuberculosis, Nigeria's Minister of Health, at a press conference for the 2009 World Stop TB Day, indicated that because Nigeria has the fifth highest incidence of TB, “the FMOH (Federal Ministry of Health) has developed a strategy to maximise collaboration between HIV and TB programmes in Nigeria and has instituted a policy that all TB suspects and patients should be screened for HIV while all HIV positive patients should also be screened for TB”.
- H&M, global fashion retailer, has embarked on a massive promotion in the fight against AIDS. Their website encourages everyone to get involved by submitting videos on the internet. Further, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has been chosen to receive twenty-five percent of the donations from the 2009 Fashion Against AIDS campaign in support of HIV prevention in Bahrain, Egypt, Oman and Turkey.
- Given the fact that many AIDS patients are discriminated against and even ostracized, Haiti has take action with a plan provided by UNFPA in conjunction with UNAIDS and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By starting the Unity Platform of Haitian Associations of PLWHA (people living with HIV-AIDS) in response to the epidemic, a database of human rights violations is kept. Fighting for reproductive rights as well, they were able to obtain condoms, information and services to prevent the transmission to children.