EU gives funds to South African fight against AIDS, TB

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The European Union will contribute 126 million euros to South Africa’s fight against AIDS and tuberculosis, in a region battling to gain ground in preventing HIV infections.

The money will be used to improve South Africa’s primary health care system, increasing access for patients, the European Commission said on Monday.
“The launch of one of the largest EU health programmes in the world shows that we want to make a real difference in people’s lives: reduce maternal and child mortality, fight diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and increase life expectancy,” EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said in a statement, Reuters reports.

About 5.4 million of South Africa’s 49 million people are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, according to official South African statistics.



The health scheme will be launched later this week, when top EU officials visit South Africa.