Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2009
(2) Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria are a major problem not only to individuals, but also to the economic and social development of developing countries. In April 2009, there was an outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1), which spread around the world. There is still a threat of a novel influenza that could emerge from the highly-pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) which continues to affect the Asia region and Egypt. Furthermore, parasitic diseases such as Chagas' disease, Guinea Worm disease, filariasis, and schistosomiasis which are referred to as "neglected tropical diseases" have caused approximately 1 billion people infected worldwide (Note 31), and these diseases are causing major social and economic losses in developing countries.
(31) Source: WHO and The Carter Center "Integrated Control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases" (2008)
Japan works to address the three major infectious diseases of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and thus far has contributed US$1.04 billion to the Global Fund. Japan has high-level research, testing, and treatment technologies in regard to tuberculosis. Based on the Global Plan to Stop TB 2006 - 2015, Japan provides anti-tuberculosis drugs and testing tools to TB affected countries, such as those that the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated as high burden countries. In July 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, JICA, the Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association, and the NGO Stop TB Partnership Japan made an announcement that they would collaborate to fight in international cooperation regarding measures against tuberculosis. The Action Plan that they announced includes medical support and human resources development by making use of the experience and technologies that were accumulated in national tuberculosis program since the end of World War II and public-private collaboration through promotion of international cooperation making use of the Global Fund.
As for malaria, which is one of the major causes of infant mortality, Japan gives support such as providing Long Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (LLITN) through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). In regard to HIV/AIDS, Japan offers support for the development of medical systems for prevention, voluntary counseling and testing services (VCT)(Note 32), and treatment. As for influenza, Japan provided emergency grant aid of approximately ¥1.1 billion through the WHO in September 2009 in order to carry out immunizations in developing countries with the H1N1 influenza vaccine. In addition, in order to prepare for pandemic influenza, Japan is stockpiling and providing antiviral medicines in cooperation with ASEAN and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), promoting raising awareness and capacity building in collaboration with the WHO and UNICEF, and strengthening the outbreak surveillance systems through bilateral cooperation. Moreover, as it is important to contain avian influenza epidemics before they reach humans, Japan is providing supports to measures against highly pathogenic avian influenza for the Asian region through the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE: Office International des Epizooties). As global polio eradication is an issue, Japan supports the provision of polio vaccines through UNICEF to mainly four countries that have been designated as countries of prevalence: Nigeria, India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Japan also takes the leading role in engaging in measures against Chagas' disease in Latin America. Specifically, Japan contributes to decreasing the risk of infection by supporting the establishment of systems for measures against the vector insect. In regard to filariasis, Japan provides antiparasitic drugs and educational materials, and carries out education and prevention activities via Japan overseas cooperation volunteers (JOCVs), and thus aims to achieve a drastic reduction of the number of new patients and maintain the non-epidemic status.
(32) VCT: Voluntary Counseling and Testing
AIDS Education Project through Mass Media (Ghana)
Ghana has an HIV infection rate of 1.9% (2007). However, as the rate for youth is on the rise at 2.6%, the prevention of HIV/AIDS became an important issue. Since 2005, Japan has carried out education and awareness raising concerning HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in ten districts in two provinces in Ghana, has improved access to services such as the provision of condoms, and therefore has promoted behavioral changes for young persons. Through these activities, knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases has increased among young people, and the percentage of youth who would like to receive Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) in regard to HIV/AIDS has risen to close to 90%. Opportunities for the provision of services have increased, including the number of testing facilities increasing to 23, and a social environment is developing that is decreasing behaviors among young people that carry a risk of infection.
National Tuberculosis Control Project (Cambodia)
Infectious diseases are a major cause of death in Cambodia, and tuberculosis infections are among the most prevalent. From 1999, Japan supported the spread of the Directly Observed Treatment, Short-Course (DOTS) strategy, and DOTS is currently adopted at about 750 health centers around the country (Phase I). From 2004, Japan provided support such as incorporating DOTS through private-public center collaboration and communities, responding to issues such as superinfections of tuberculosis and AIDS, and improvement of DOTS service, which expanded rapidly (Phase II). As a result, the detection rate of tuberculosis patients reached 70% and the rate of treatment success reached 85%, and the international objectives were achieved.