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WHO: Malaria and AIDS threatens three million Africans

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MAPUTO, Aug 22 (AFP) - Malaria and AIDS threatened three million Africans the World Health Organisation (WHO) director Wook-Jong Lee told an international health conference here, announcing a 30 percent increase in WHO's budget for the region.

"AIDS and malaria threaten the lives of more than three million Africans. These diseases are undermining the development efforts of the majority of Africans," Lee said.

"That's why we have decided to increase by 30 percent the WHO budget for the African region," he said. No figures were immediately available.

The five-day meeting will be attended by 300 people including 46 African health ministers and international health experts.

"The AIDS pandemic, the Marburg haemorrhagic fever, malaria, tuberculosis, cholera and poliomyelitis, kill more than one million people each year, and to fight these diseases requires the support and attention of world leaders," Lee said.

Mozambique President Armando Guebuza pointed to the fragmented health systems and deficiencies in financial and human resources in the combat against the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

"The impact of AIDS in terms of morbidity and mortality is a factor in the weak economic growth of the countries of the region. This fact is linked to the fragmentation of the health systems and the insufficient human, financial and technological resources," Guebuza said.



COPYRIGHT 2005 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved.

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