Written on March 24, 2011:
On this important World TB Day, let's address the donor fatigue and uninformed stereotyping of Africa as a giant black hole for aid and look at the reality.
Canada's spending to fight TB globally is set to drop from $51.7 million to $24.3 million in 2012. Meanwhile, those with weak immune systems who are currently dependent on expensive ARVs and HIV/AIDS programs worldwide remain vulnerable to this opportunistic disease (which costs as little as $20 per person to cure). And yet CIDA has little funding that targets TB and HIV together, and is set to cut our contributions to TB treatment and prevention in half. Not only should we be doubling this figure to avoid exacerbating this crisis, but we could be gathering best practices via our international partners to develop innovative programs that improve health access and TB prevention here in Canada (and yes, TB is a big problem in our home and "Native" land).
The conservative regime has proven itself unresponsive and ineffective in their international development initiatives (Lester B. Pearson would be rolling in his grave if he knew Bev Oda was in charge). I hope that Canadians will choose genuine leadership and capacity in the global fight against preventable death and disease come election time.