Malaria supporters take to the streets in Nairobi

demo-2.JPGby Edward Mwangi, Kenya NGO Alliance Against Malaria (KeNAAM)

The community voice in Nairobi filled the street on Wednesday at the 5th Multilateral Initiative on Malaria Pan-Africa Conference when they held a procession to call on US president Barrack Obama to take leadership for Global Fund AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM) to increase to USD 2 billion US contribution to the Global Fund. Started in 2002, Global fund has recorded positive results in over 140 countries globally.

The community, chanting “we need the other half” was conveying the message that half of those benefiting from the GFATM commodities are living on hope that commodities will be availed to them. Chanting the popular Obama slogan, “Yes we can,” the demonstrators made their way along Nairobi streets.

The aim of the procession was also to mobilize signature on postcards to the US President Barrack Obama to be sent before the Thanksgiving holiday with the following wording:

Dear President Obama,

We’ve made great progress that has made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria that nearly 50% of the people who need treatment are now receiving it, “still the other half is not” I know you don’t do things halfheartedly.  So please lead the world in achieving universal access to treatment by fully funding the Global Fund AID, TB and malaria.

The procession in Nairobi was co-organized by national network organizations for the three diseases; Kenya AIDS consortium, NEPHAK and Kenya NGO Alliance Against Malaria through the Action Advocacy to control TB internationally consortium.

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PS – leadership from the US would have a stronger face if a Director for the US Agency for International Development were appointed. Al Jazeera reports on the leadership gap this problem has created for the US in the development world, and we believe it also affects the credibility of US malaria efforts – Bill

Additional media coverage of the procession can be found at the Wall Street Journal and CNN (a 7+ minute video where Nairobi appears about 3 minutes into the clip).

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