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Call for revised approach to global diseases

International programmes to treat infectious diseases are not well suited to middle-income countries or a multipolar world, the EuroScience Open Forum in Manchester has heard.

Existing efforts tend to be targeted at low-income countries, said Michel Kazatchkine, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for AIDS in eastern Europe and central Asia. But 60 per cent of people infected with HIV now live in middle-income countries, and the health charity Médecins Sans Frontières predicts that this will rise to 70 per cent by 2020.

Such countries, Kazatchkine said, are “not, or are hardly, eligible for international funding” from initiatives such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, of which he was director between 2007 and 2012.

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