Gates Charity Creates New African Woes
AIDS dollars distort fragile health systems, undermining basic care
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2007 6:07 AM CST
The Gates Foundation causes staff shortages among healthcare workers in Africa, shortchanges basic needs like nutrition and transportation, and harms treatment of ailments not aided by vaccination, the...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given $8.5 billion to global health causes and is slowly defeating AIDS in Africa, but it’s creating unexpected new problems for the continent, the LA Times reports. By pouring money into the treatment of AIDS, TB and malaria, it has lured health care workers with higher pay, while basic  health care has has suffered.

The foundation's narrow focus, the Times report finds, has disrupted fragile health care systems; while AIDS deaths fall, maternal and child mortality rise because of deteriorating care in hospital maternity wards. Hunger is neglected, though it causes some patients to vomit their free pills. The fund “cannot resolve all the problems of all the people,” reasoned one doctor, but a nurse insisted it isn’t “coming down to our level. We’ve got to tell the truth so something will be done.”