Covering about 8 million people with HIV treatment and a total investment of $27 billion to treat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, the Global Fund has saved more than 17 millions of lives in recent years. This, according to figures released by the institution on September 21.
“Not long ago, AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria seemed unstoppable. In many countries, AIDS devastated generations, leaving countless orphans and wrecked communities. Malaria killed small children and pregnant women who could not protect themselves from mosquitoes or access the correct medicine. Tuberculosis had affected poor communities for millennia. A global health partnership met to work together, pooling resources and expertise; and through the participation of the people affected by the diseases, civil society, the private sector and Governments, have stepped beyond what seemed impossible”, commented Mr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
Currently, the Fund provides antiretroviral medicines to over 8.1 million people, an increase of 22% since last year. For the malaria, 548 million bed nets were distributed to protect children and families from the disease, with an annual increase of 32%. The number of tuberculosis cases detected and treated increased by 11% to 13.2 million.
It is expected that 55% of the investments of the Fund benefit women and girls positively by addressing gender inequality and have a positive impact on reproductive health.
“It is not time to celebrate. We are only half way. We have huge challenges in global health that still await us. Teenagers are contracting HIV at a tremendous pace in South Africa. TB-HIV co-infection is increasing, as well as multi-resistant TB. Gains made against malaria could be lost if we do not expand prevention programs and treatment (…)”, said Mr. Dybul.
The continuation of the Global Fund and its programs aren’t the only things at stake, but also the manner in which the Fund works. When having fewer available resources it is inevitable to see a greater bias towards the poorest countries, according to World Bank classifications.
Goals and objectives are clear, they have already been identified by UNAIDS and WHO; However, we need an increase in international investment and an increase of national investment, otherwise, will be a total failure. Lately, they are very few who are involved in the review and development of the strategy of the Global Fund. Also, there are less members of civil society involved to mobilize financial resources.
It is time to implement so many commitments!