Combatting TB, Malaria and HIV

Kenya and Brazil are calling the World
Health Organization to devote more resources to Tuberculosis, Malaria and

Kenya and Brazil are calling the World Health Organization to devote more resources to tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS.

According to the website, the two nations will press a resolution as 190 member nations of the WHO meet in Geneva beginning Monday.

The backdrop for this resolution is the continuing problem of directing the resources necessary to combat diseases of poverty. The capacity to prevent these diseases exists, but according to Davy Koech, director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, they don’t represent a profitable market.

It’s a continuing disgrace that because of market forces preventable diseases claim lives in the developing world when tuberculosis and malaria have been all but eliminated and HIV/AIDS is increasingly being managed, if not prevented in the developed world.

I believe it will take the concerted effort of non-governmental agencies, national health services and UN agencies such as WHO to call attention to this dilemma, bring pressure on funders and multinational pharmaceutical companies and governments. From the perspective of the faith community the theological imperative should be obvious. This is a matter of justice and compassion.

Children and adults are dying of preventable disease, some of which are relatively inexpensive to treat or prevent. This is well-documented. It appears it will take the moral voice of the church and other partners of goodwill to get movement toward justice and realize the promise of better health for the world’s poor.

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