Zimbabwe Misses WHO’s 3 by 5 Target of Providing 120,000 People With Antiretrovirals in 2005
Zimbabwe in 2005 missed the World Health Organization's target of providing 120,000 HIV/AIDS patients with antiretroviral drugs under the organization's 3 by 5 Initiative, Xinhua News Agency reports (Xinhua News Agency, 1/3). The initiative aims to have three million HIV-positive people in developing countries on antiretrovirals by the end of 2005. According to a report released in November 2005 by a coalition of HIV/AIDS treatment advocates, WHO missed the target because of a lack of cooperation and coordination internationally and a lack of national leadership (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/29/05). According to Zimbabwe's Daily Mirror, inadequate foreign funding for Zimbabwe's only drug maker Varichem Pharmaceuticals hindered efforts to provide widespread access to antiretrovirals at no cost. In addition, a reluctance to undergo voluntary HIV testing among people living in the country hampered efforts to reach 3 by 5's treatment target, Owen Mugurungi, head of the tuberculosis and AIDS unit in the country's Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, said. He added that 17,500 people were receiving antiretrovirals as of August 2005. The ministry had expected 22,500 people to be on antiretrovirals by Dec. 31, 2005, Xinhua News Agency reports (Xinhua News Agency, 1/3).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.