WHO, Global Fund ink deal to fight AIDS, Malaria and TB epidemics

The World Health Organization and the Global Fund have rolled out a strategic plan to fight the spread and burden of AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The cooperation and financing plan will lead to the implementation of 10 strategic initiatives to respond to the epidemics while strengthening health systems in countries.

The plan’s implementation, which is scheduled to cover the period 2021-2023 aims at addressing the hurdles that hinder progress against fighting the three diseases while protecting hard-won lessons from new pandemics such as COVID-19.

Every year, roughly 2.5 million people are infected with HIV, eight million contract TB, while over 300 million suffer from malaria. Together, these diseases claim over five million lives per year.

Statistics indicate that in 2019, about 1.4 million people died from TB while malaria claimed over 400,000 lives globally. Last year, about 690,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

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Through the new agreement, the strategic initiatives seek to expand TB preventive treatment for people living with HIV in nine African countries.

Additionally, the initiatives seek to accelerate innovation for multi-drug resistant TB treatment through research.

Also, the deal envisions stepping up data collection and use to develop evidence-based policy is part of the agenda the new agreement aims to achieve together with fostering rapid uptake of service delivery innovations with South to South Learning.

Further the initiatives seeks to improve the quality of care, and encourage rapid uptake of procurement and supply chain management innovation; and increase program sustainability, facilitate the transition to domestic financing and improve program efficiency.

Dr Mubashar Sheikh from WHO said the organization and the Global Fund have a long and successful partnership working together to scale up HIV, TB and malaria interventions and strengthen health systems in many countries.

Their collaboration has helped lower the disease burdens of HIV, TB and malaria worldwide, saving millions of lives in the last 20 years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever, reinforces the need to strengthen our partnership to achieve our shared goals of ending the epidemics,” said Dr Mubashar Sheikh.

“This agreement supports countries to develop more effective responses to the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics and build the resilient health systems they need to reach the most vulnerable.”

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