Macroeconomics and Health (CMH)

The Press Trust of India

October 29, 2003

New Delhi -- India and other developing countries on Wednesday came together at a meeting hosted by the World Health Organisation to address the crucial issue of enhancing investments in the health sector.

The two-day meeting, that began on Wednesday at Geneva, is being attended by Ministers of Health, Finance and Planning from 40 developing countries along with development partners.

India is represented by Health Minister Sushma Swaraj along with officials.

The meeting is focusing on developing concrete plans for increased health investment, a World Health Organisation release said.

"This meeting signifies real political commitment from the highest level of government and donor representatives.. we must choose to make equitable and efficient health investments a reality," WHO Director General Dr Jee Jong-wook said.

"We need country-specific blueprints for making real increase in health investment. Developing countries and their partners need to collectively and quickly do much more for health and global stability. This meeting can identify ways to make this happen," Lee said.

He said currently only 300,000 people with AIDS are on treatment with anti-retrovirals due to dearth of funds.