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Health Care Systems: Treating More than Just AIDS

CHAI: A Story of Success


There is no doubt that the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) made its name developing health care systems to treat AIDS in developing countries. Ten years ago, the vast majority of people suffering from HIV and AIDS were unable to afford treatment. Only 200,000 of the millions of sufferers were able to pay the $10,000 a year charged for medical care. Most children had no options for treatment at all. After a decade of work, however, CHAI has greatly improved these numbers. Today, more than six million people in low and middle income countries are able to afford treatment and more than half of these are children.


Reaching Beyond AIDS


While CHAI may have first found success in the wake of the AIDS epidemic, they have found that their strategies can be used to help people gain access to all types of treatments and medication. They have helped to developed health care systems in many of the countries that need them most. They now have programs that target malaria as well as childhood diseases and they work to increase global access to high quality, affordable health care. They have developed a groundbreaking strategy to reduce mother-to-child transmissions of AIDS. Working with mothers in all stages of pregnancy and birth, their goal is to one day eliminate pediatric AIDS entirely.


Entrepreneurial spirit has long been the key to CHAI’s success. They take each problem in stride, searching for unique, local solutions. They work with organizations in both the public and the private sector, cooperating with charitable organizations and working with governments to build the infrastructure needed for efficient, functional medical systems. CHAI negotiates directly with the medical and pharmaceutical industries to lower the cost of medication so that health care systems can be made available to all who need them.

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