Commentary & Opinion
Opinion: Introduced by President George W. Bush, PEPFAR Has Saved Millions of Lives
February 12, 2013
"The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) exist[s] entirely because of a willing leader, a creative policy team, a smattering of activists and a vast, bleeding need," columnist Michael Gerson writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. He cites President George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address, during which he announced the program: "Tonight I propose the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, ... a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa. This comprehensive plan will prevent seven million new AIDS infections, treat at least two million people with life-extending drugs and provide humane care for millions of people suffering from AIDS and for children orphaned by AIDS."
"In retrospect, the words were not particularly memorable. But the moment was remarkable," Gerson continues, adding, "An initiative of this scale and ambition -- the largest effort to fight a single disease in history -- was utterly unexpected." He discusses the implementation of the program and outlines a number of lessons that can be gleaned from it after 10 years. "I watched a leader make the decision to save the lives of millions of innocent people," he writes, concluding, "Ten years later, it is still the noblest thing I have ever seen" (2/11).
PEPFAR Has Helped Millions, but "Hard Work" Lies Ahead to Sustain Gains, Says Washington Post Editorial
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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