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AFRO-NETS> WHO Director-General: Declaration of Global Health Emergency

WHO Director-General: Declaration of Global Health Emergency
From: J.W.Lee 
Sent: Monday, 22 September 2003 18:19
Subject: Message from the Director-General
Today, WHO is declaring the failure to deliver AIDS medicines to 
those who need them a global health emergency. I am making this an-
nouncement, along with UNAIDS and the Global Fund, in New York, at a 
press conference and at a roundtable at the UN General Assembly meet-
ing on HIV/AIDS. 
We have decided to take this rare measure after evaluating the global 
situation and finding that only 5% of those in the developing world 
who require antiretrovirals are getting them. Of 5-6 million people 
in need, just 300,000 are on ARVs. In sub-Saharan Africa, for exam-
ple, only 50,000 people, of 4.1 million who require ARVs, actually 
have access. To address this global health emergency, WHO will take 
all necessary measures to achieve the "3 by 5" target - putting three 
million people on antiretrovirals by the end of 2005. 
In the immediate term, staff across WHO and UNAIDS are working in 
several areas. These include providing emergency response teams to 
countries which request them; developing simple treatment guidelines; 
building a global AIDS Drugs and Diagnostics Facility; developing 
rapid training for health workers, developing uniform standards and 
simplified tools to track the progress and impact of ARV treatment 
programmes; and, assessing the amount of money need to deliver the "3 
by 5" commitment. 
To implement the "3 by 5", we can take many lessons learned in other 
WHO programmes, including TB, polio, our response to SARS and other 
emergencies. "3 by 5" is an ambitious target, with a long-term goal 
of universal access to ARVs. We are now working on a detailed "3 by 
5" strategy, which will be ready by 1 December 2003, World AIDS Day. 
I would ask you all to give this important new work your full sup-
Lee Jong-wook
WHO Director-General

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