UNAIDS’ Update highlights key elements of the AIDS response in a number of African countries. South Africa, for example, is rapidly scaling up access to HIV treatment, with a 20% increase in the number of people receiving therapy from 2011-2012 alone. Sixteen countries—Botswana, Ghana, Gambia, Gabon, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—now ensure that more than three-quarters of pregnant women living with HIV receive antiretroviral medicine to prevent transmission to their child.
The field of global health is witnessing a shift in focus from disease-driven initiatives to projects aimed at increasing the sustainability and strengthening of health systems. A crucial component to this is universal health coverage (UHC), which seeks to address financing schemes for health, separate from efforts to provide both adequate numbers of health workers and structures for health-care delivery. UHC may be provided by government or through a combination of private insurance schemes, public-sector planning, and employer-based programs. Countries across the world, from China and India to Rwanda and Mexico, are beginning to implement different universal health coverage schemes, marking a rise in interest and political will for universal health coverage.