WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign, the anti-poverty and global health organization co-founded by Bono, lead singer of U2, issued the below statement today praising the historic confirmation of Dr. John Nkengasong to lead PEPFAR as the Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally. Dr. Nkengasong is the first person from the continent of Africa to serve in this position.
Tom Hart, President of ONE:
“This is a big win for global health. Dr. Nkengasong’s historic confirmation could not come at a more critical time in the fight to end AIDS and other preventable diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic took a serious toll on our progress against AIDS, with fewer people seeking testing and prevention services. Now, conflict in Ukraine threatens seismic impacts for all of us but especially for Africa, which is still recovering from the health and economic setbacks of the pandemic.
“Africa’s health must be in Africa’s hands. PEPFAR needs a strong leader to get our fight against the global AIDS crisis, which claims nearly 700,000 lives annually, back on track. As his critical work battling COVID in Africa goes to show, Dr. Nkengasong is an internationally respected leader on critical global health issues. As the first person of African origin to hold this position, he brings an invaluable perspective to this fight. His confirmation marks a leap forward in our fight to ensure that everyone, everywhere has equitable access to life-saving HIV/AIDS prevention, tests, and treatments while also strengthening health systems.
“ONE congratulates Dr. Nkengasong on his confirmation and looks forward to working with him to ensure PEPFAR has the tools it needs to eradicate AIDS once and for all.”