3. GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

PEPFAR: The anti-AIDS program that changed the world now under threat

PEPFAR: The anti-AIDS program that changed the world now under threat
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

PEPFAR: The anti-AIDS program that changed the world now under threat  WBUR News

PEPFAR: The anti-AIDS program that changed the world now under threat

PEPFAR: A Successful Public Health Program in Peril

Twenty years ago, President George W. Bush launched a massive public health initiative – known as PEPFAR.

Some health workers in Africa say the results have been miraculous.

“PEPFAR is equal to the United States. People know you say PEPFAR, people know PEPFAR is USA,” Nkatha Njeru, CEO of the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform, says. “So it’s been a very good thing that the Americans have done.”

Now, a small group in Congress wants to kill the plan.

Today, On Point: Why one of the most successful public health programs is in peril.

Guests

  • Nkatha Njeru, CEO of the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform, an umbrella group which serves Christian Health Associations and Church Health Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Shepherd Smith, co-founder of Children’s AIDS Fund International. Co-author of the forthcoming book “A Journey of Faith.”
  • Sarah Owermohle, Washington correspondent at the health and medical news website STAT.

Also Featured

  • Dr. Mark Dybul, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator during the Bush Admin.

Transcript

Part I

DEBORAH BECKER: One of the most successful public health programs in history is under threat. The program started 20 years ago and it’s saved millions of lives. It’s called PEPFAR, short for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. In his State of the Union address in 2003, then President George W. Bush explained why help was needed to stem the devastation from HIV and AIDS.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Today on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus, including 3 million children under the age of 15. There are whole countries in Africa where more than one third of the adult population carries the infection. More than 4 million require immediate drug treatment. Yet across that continent, only 50,000 AIDS victims, only 50,000, are receiving the medicine they need.

BECKER: Bush chose Dr. Mark Dybul to design and implement the program, and Dr. Dybul remembers that State of the Union address well.

DYBUL: And I remember thinking two things. One, this is one of the most extraordinary acts of mercy, which is what the president called it, one of the greatest things in the history of humankind.

And secondly, “Oh my God, now we actually have to get it done.”

BECKER: In the two decades since, PEPFAR has saved millions from disease, death, and orphanhood. Congress has reauthorized PEPFAR every five years since, and it’s always enjoyed broad bipartisan support. Not this year. It’s up for renewal in just two days.

And a former chief supporter, Republican New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith, says the Biden administration has turned the program into a slush fund for abortion programs in Africa.

CHRIS SMITH: In comes Joe Biden. He puts out brand new guidance to all of the recipients of PEPFAR, 6.7 billion, and says, “You have to now try to change the laws in the countries you’re operating under for sexual and reproductive health and rights.” Which means on the LGBTQ agenda and on the abortion agenda. And they’re not trying to protect life. Believe me.

BECKER: But many dispute those claims, including former President Bush himself, who is urging Congress to reauthorize PEPFAR. I’m Deobrah Becker, in for Meghna Chakrabarti, and this is On Point. This hour, the PEPFAR program, the new pushback, and what happens if it goes away.

Joining me from Nairobi, Kenya is Nkatha Njeru. From 2002 to 2008, she ran an HIV clinic at Nazareth Hospital, near Nairobi. Since then, she’s been CEO of the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform.

That’s an umbrella group serving Christian health associations and church health networks in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nkatha, thanks for being on Point.

NKATHA NJERU: Thank you for having me.

BECKER: And joining us from Washington is Shepherd Smith. He’s co-founder of Children’s AIDS Fund International. He’s an evangelical Christian who says he’s opposed to abortion in most circumstances, and he’s worked on this issue for decades.

Shepherd, welcome.

SHEPHERD SMITH: Thank you for having me.

BECKER: So I want to start with reminding folks of what it was like 20 years ago and why PEPFAR was so needed. So let’s start with the intent of the program. And I think perhaps the best person to explain this is former President George W. Bush. Here’s a little bit more from that State of the Union address and his vision for what PEPFAR was going to be.

BUSH: This comprehensive plan will prevent 7 million new AIDS infections, treat at least 2 million people with life extending drugs, and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS and for children orphaned by AIDS.

I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next 5 years, including nearly $10 billion in new money. To turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean.

BECKER: I want to ask you, Nkatha, you have a history of working in health care even before P

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • Target 3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases.
  • Target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.
  • Target 10.1: By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average.
  • Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, there are indicators mentioned in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. These include:

  • Number of new AIDS infections and number of people receiving life-extending drugs (Target 3.3)
  • Access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights (Target 5.6)
  • Income growth of the bottom 40% of the population (Target 10.1)
  • Partnerships and collaborations between different stakeholders (Target 17.16)

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Table

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being Target 3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases. Number of new AIDS infections and number of people receiving life-extending drugs.
SDG 5: Gender Equality Target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences. Access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities Target 10.1: By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average. Income growth of the bottom 40% of the population.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals Target 17.16: Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries. Partnerships and collaborations between different stakeholders.

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: wbur.org

 

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