Health was a major issue discussed at the opening of this year's United Nations General Assembly. A key goal is to get developing countries to take responsibility for promoting economic and social progress through good governance. Developed countries like the U.S. are supporting such efforts by providing increased aid to nations that undertake necessary reforms.
President George W. Bush says the U.S. established millennium challenge accounts that increase U.S. aid "for countries that govern justly, invest in their people, and promote economic freedom':
"But our work doesn't end there. For many countries, AIDS, malaria, and other diseases are both humanitarian tragedies and significant obstacles to development. We must give poor countries access to the emergency, life saving drugs they need to fight these infectious diseases."
Since 2000, the U.S has supported treatment for more than two-hundred-thirty-thousand people in sub-Saharan Africa who are infected with H-I-V, the virus that causes AIDS. Mr. Bush says the U.S. is also working to fight malaria, a preventable disease that kills more than a million people around the world every year:
"The United States has set a goal of cutting the malaria death rate in half in at least fifteen highly endemic African countries. To achieve that goal, we've pledged to increase our funding for malaria treatment and prevention by more than one-billion-two-hundred-million dollars over the next five years."
Mr. Bush says that new threats to health such as Avian influenza have also emerged:
"I am announcing a new international partnership on Avian and pandemic influenza. The partnership requires countries that face an outbreak to immediately share information and provide samples to the World Health Organization. By requiring transparency, we can respond more rapidly to dangerous outbreaks and stop them on time."
"It's essential we work together," says Mr. Bush, "and as we do so, we will fulfill a moral duty to protect our citizens, and heal the sick, and comfort the afflicted."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.