Fact Sheet: The United States and Nigeria: Joining Forces to Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases (8/27/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                             (Abuja, Nigeria)
For Immediate Release
August 27,2000

                                FACT SHEET

       The United States and Nigeria:   Joining Forces to Fight AIDS
                          And Infectious Diseases

Today, at the National Center for Women Development in Abuja, Nigeria,
President Clinton announced more than $20 million to support President
Obasanjo?s aggressive campaigns against malaria, polio and HIV/AIDS, and
recognized President Obasanjo?s extraordinary efforts to mobilize other
African leaders in these battles.

President Clinton and President Obasanjo pledged to join forces to fight
HIV/AIDS and other devastating diseases.   Joined by youth groups, people
living with AIDS, religious leaders, business leaders, unions, women?s
groups, and the military, Presidents Clinton and Obasanjo reinforced the
need for leadership, resources and action by all segments of society to
combat HIV/AIDS.   The two leaders highlighted and praised the efforts of
Nigeria?s non-governmental organizations, including the Society of Women
Against AIDS in Nigeria, the Muslim Sisters Organization and the Nigerian
Network of People Living with AIDS

The Clinton-Gore Administration?s commitments to Nigeria include:
?    $9.4 million in FY 2000 for HIV/AIDS prevention and care, including
care of orphans;
?    $8.7 million in FY 2000 for polio eradication to support Nigeria?s
participation in Africa?s largest-ever coordinated public health initiative
? the vaccination of every child under age five in 17 West and Central
African countries;
?    $2 million in FY 2000 for a new public-private partnership to produce
insecticide-treated bednets to prevent malaria;
?    $500,000 in the FY 2001 budget request for a Department of Labor
program to initiate workplace-based HIV/AIDS education and prevention; and
?    A new Department of Defense effort to assist with HIV/AIDS prevention,
training, and education of Nigerian defense forces.

These announcements build on the Clinton-Gore Administration's aggressive
response to global disease challenges, including the launching of the LIFE
Initiative (Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic) to combat
?    President Clinton is asking Congress for an increase of $100 million
-- to $342 million -- for international AIDS prevention and care in FY
2001, more than double the FY 99 level.   Funds will be targeted to the
countries where the disease is most widespread, particularly in sub-Saharan
Africa.  Priorities include:  stepped up primary AIDS prevention efforts;
care and treatment for those infected; care for children orphaned by AIDS,
and strengthening the public health infrastructure that can prevent and
control the disease.  The United States has invested more than $1.4 billion
in international AIDS programs since the start of the epidemic.

?    On January 10, 2000, Vice President Gore chaired the first-ever United
Nations Security Panel session on a health issue -- HIV/AIDS as an
international security threat.
?    On May 10, 2000, the President signed an Executive Order to help make
HIV/AIDS-related drugs and medical technologies more affordable and
accessible in beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries.  Last month, the
pharmaceutical industry announced an initiative to reduce prices for
anti-retroviral drugs for developing countries.
?    The Peace Corps announced that all 2,400 Peace Corps volunteers
serving in 25 countries in Africa will be trained as educators of HIV/AIDS
prevention and care.
?    In his State of the Union address, President Clinton announced the
Millennium Vaccine Initiative to accelerate the development of malaria, TB,
and AIDS vaccines -- vaccines for which there is an enormous need, but
little market incentive for industry to develop.  The initiative calls for:
-    $50 million in the President?s FY2001 budget as a contribution to the
vaccine purchase fund of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization
-    Presidential leadership to ensure that the World Bank and other
multilateral development banks dedicate an additional $400 million to $900
million annually of their low-interest rate loans to health care services;
-    significant increases in basic research on diseases that affect
developing nations; and
-    $1 billion tax credit for sales of vaccines for malaria, TB and AIDS
to accelerate their development and production.
?    This year, the Clinton-Gore Administration contributed $120 million to
the international campaign to eradicate polio.
?    The Clinton-Gore Administration made global AIDS and infectious
diseases a top priority at the U.S.-European Union Summit in Portugal in
May and last month?s G-8 Summit in Okinawa, where billions were mobilized
from  G-8 partners.

Facts on HIV/AIDS and other Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries:
?    Last year, AIDS killed 2.8 million people worldwide and is now the
single leading cause of death in Africa; an estimated 5.4 % of Nigerians --
2.6 million people -- are currently infected with AIDS;
?    Thirteen million sub-Saharan African children  -- 1.4 million in
Nigeria -- have now lost one or both of their parents to AIDS.
?    Over 8 million children die each year of illnesses like malaria, TB,
and diarrheal diseases ? more than 3 million of these deaths could be
prevented by existing vaccines.
?    Malaria is the leading killer of children in Africa, taking more than
1 million lives each year.  Malaria costs Africa more than $12 billion
?    Polio has been eradicated from much of the world; however, more than
20 countries still report the disease.  Last year there were 6000 new
cases, nearly 1000 in Nigeria alone.
?    Immunization is one of the most cost effective health interventions.
It costs only $15 to immunize a child, yet in developing countries,
children remain 10 times more likely to die of a vaccine preventable
disease than those in the industrialized world.  Twenty percent of children
worldwide lack access to basic immunization services.

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