What Should Country Ownership Really Mean as PEPFAR Moves into Next Phase?

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As the Obama Administration takes PEPFAR into its next phase, one of the hottest new buzzwords has been “country ownership.” Dr. Eric Goosby, Obama’s Global AIDS Ambassador, and other staff at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator have used this term repeatedly over the last year to describe their efforts to make PEPFAR a more sustainable program.

But many HIV advocates fear that what they mean by “country ownership” is really transferring the responsibility and leadership of PEPFAR-country programs too quickly to developing country ministries of health, many of which are ill-equipped to take on the financial, technical or medical aspects of these incredibly successful HIV treatment and prevention initiatives.

In this video, Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, offers her perspective on this very important debate.

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