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AIDS Healthcare Foundation Shares World Bank, Global Fund Concerns Over Alleged Corruption at India's NACO
Date:2/9/2008

Call on the Prime Minister to Restore the People's Faith in the Government

AIDS System

NEW DELHI, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and AHF/India Cares today announced its strong support for a Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) call for an independent inquiry into allegations made by the World Bank (WB) concerning the second phase of National AIDS Control Programme (NACO) projects implemented throughout India. The NACO projects and efforts in question have been supported in part by these two international donors. AIDS Healthcare Foundation will also request that Manmohan Singh, the honorable Prime Minister of India, and who is also the Chair of National AIDS Council (NAC), the highest authority to address HIV AIDS in India, takes cognizance of these allegations and use his influence to help weed out corruption at NACO in an effort to restore faith in the government AIDS system, which has been failing the people of India.

"Like the Global Fund, AHF is very concerned by the corruption allegations made by the World Bank, which has greater ramifications for future resource allocations in the fight against the epidemic in India and globally," said Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, Chief, Asia Pacific Bureau, AIDS Healthcare Foundation based in New Delhi. Dr. Thangsing also expressed disappointment with the slow action by the World Bank, stating, "Sadly the World Bank has remained a silent spectator for all these years when similar corruption allegations were first reported as early as 2005." He added, "The World Bank should invest in good governance and greater involvement and participation of civil society organizations in the government programs. This is crucial and would significantly check and help fight corruption of all forms and at different levels within the Indian healthcare system."

"We were shocked and appalled at the manner in which the corruption has surfaced in the NACO health programs meant to save lives of millions. I worry that large donors such as the World Bank and the Global Fund took too long to wake up to the rampant corruption within NACO and the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) and will now be forced to take action," Terri Ford, AHF's Director of Global Advocacy, currently deployed in India, expressing concern about the continued corruption and the possible cut off of global funds to fight AIDS. "The mother in need of treatment in India is going to be the one who suffers from this corruption and its exposure -- not the bureaucrats. AHF encourages the abolition of inherent corruption, but we also are here to advocate for clients and patients who need the services the World Bank and the Global Fund support. It is time for zero tolerance on corruption in HIV/AIDS care in India -- something that is long overdue."

About AHF/India Cares

AHF/India Cares centers provide testing, psycho-social support services and anti-retroviral treatment including both pediatric and second-line treatment. The facilities provide comprehensive HIVAIDS care and treatment and holistic services, and serve as one-stop shops for people living with HIVAIDS (PLWHAs). In the Asia/Pacific region, AIDS Healthcare Foundation currently provides free anti-retroviral treatment and services to people in need through its clinics and programmes in India, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia and China.

About AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the US' largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare, research, prevention and education provider. AHF currently provides treatment, care and support services to more than 62,000 individuals in 20 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at http://www.aidshealth.org http://www.aidshealth.org


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SOURCE AIDS Healthcare Foundation
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