Harvard behind schedule in administering PEPFAR grant
October 27 2004 12:00 AM ET
The Harvard School of Public Health is seriously behind schedule in administering a $107 million grant from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief to help get 75,000 HIV-positive people in Botswana, Nigeria, and Tanzania on antiretroviral therapy, the Boston Herald reports. The grant was awarded in March and was intended to extend anti-HIV drug regimens to 8,000 HIV-positive people during its first year, but only 1,500 people in Nigeria are currently receiving anti-HIV medications through the program and only 200 of an expected 3,000 HIV-positive people in Tanzania have been helped by the grant.
"We started slowly on purpose, to make sure everything is working properly," project head Phyllis Kanki told the Herald. She also said the program faced problems in securing enough drugs for a "very large" purchase made for drug-disbursement programs in Tanzania. But HSPH president Lawrence Summers is reportedly angry over the delays in getting lifesaving medications to HIV-positive people in the African countries and has raised questions about the effectiveness of the program's leadership. "Summers is apoplectic," an unnamed source close to Summers told the Herald. "He sees a major scandal brewing here." A spokesman for Summers, however, says he has made no derogatory comments about Kanki's leadership or the program.