The investment of the European Commission would be targeted towards controlling the spread of three major diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria that are haunting the Asian region. Furthermore, a 'Programme for Action to Confront HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB through External Action' would be launched neat year.
The main focus of the programme would be aimed at reducing the financial constraints that prevent the realization of the sixth Millennium Development Goal. The greatest challenge in Asia would be the design of appropriate tools to control and manage these diseases, and improve the availability of the tools in places, where the need is felt the most. The programme would be initiated in the year 2007 and would be completed by the end of 2011.
In order to better understand and identify new control strategies in the region, a consultation between the Indian health officials and the European Commission, would be held next month on the 4th of April. The four-day consultation would involve the general public, members of civil society, public and private health sector enterprises, networks formed by people with HIV/AIDS and TB.
International, National and regional experiences in combating diseases would be discussed in the consultation called 'Confronting HIV, as well as TB and Malaria: An Asia Stakeholders' Consultation'. It would additionally serve as an opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas, paving way for development of common health strategies.
The effect of diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS are most felt in the developing and underdeveloped countries in Asia, where a majority of the population is below the poverty line. Furthermore, such individuals have very poor access to health care facilities such as those available in the urban areas, placing a significant burden on the economic development.
Although tools have been designed to control and manage these diseases, such tools are not made available to those who need them, such as the poor and vulnerable community living in the villages and tribal communities. Due to this situation, an increasing importance has now been given to health related investments as it is considered as a vital link between economic growth, social well-being and social justice.
The Asian stakeholders would be provided with an opportunity to review strategic achievements and options in controlling the diseases. Additionally, numerous suggestions regarding control of these diseases in a quick and efficient way would be welcomed in the Delhi consultation.
Representatives form different countries in the Asian region (China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia) are expected to attend the consultation. Several aspects related to diagnosis, treatment, prevention, care and support would be discussed in detail to identify targets for action and adaptation.