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UK leads global health care initiative

The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is leading a campaign to build national health systems in some of the world's poorest countries in order to save millions of lives

The UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is leading a campaign to build national health systems in some of the world's poorest countries in order to save millions of lives.

Brown is forming The International Health Partnership with other developed countries to ensure international aid is spent effectively.

Ministers from Burundi, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal and Zambia are involved in the launch.

The aim of the new partnership is to help poor countries meet key Millennium Development Goals, such as fighting illnesses like HIV and AIDS, while reducing childhood and maternal mortality rates.

Douglas Alexander, who is UK's Secretary of State for International Development has said that while global aid for health had doubled since 2000 and much had been achieved to fight disease and save lives, it was only part of the solution.

The programme is supported by Norway, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and international organisations including the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, the EU Commission and the African Development Bank.

However the US, which has launched its own fund for AIDS in Africa, has not yet joined the initiative.

Brown has already promised to lobby world leaders to deliver on promises made in 2000 to deal with a range of development issues, including gender equality, education and poverty.

In August 2007, Brown met with German chancellor, Angela Merkel in London to finalise details of the health partnership. They promised urgent action to reduce disease in the world's poorest countries.

30th September 2008

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