Browsing articles in "Announcement"
2 April 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund Selects its Next Board Chair and Vice-Chair

Dr Nafsiah Mboi

Dr Nafsiah Mboi of Indonesia to be the new Board Chair of the Global Fund

GENEVA – The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has selected Nafsiah Mboi of Indonesia to be its next Board Chair and Mireille Guigaz of France as its next Board Vice-Chair. Both will begin a two-year term starting in late June, 2013.

Dr Nafsiah Mboi is the Minister of Health for the Republic of Indonesia. She has more than 40 years of experience in national and global public health, including a full career as a civil servant in the Ministry of Health. She served six years as Secretary of Indonesia’s National AIDS Commission, where she oversaw planning, coordination and implementation of the national response to HIV and AIDS, and expanded the involvement of both government and civil society organizations including work with faith-based communities and private sector initiatives.

Originally trained as a pediatrician, Dr Nafsiah subsequently earned an MPH degree. She served as a member of Indonesia’s Parliament from 1992 to 1997. Internationally, she has served as Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and also as Director of the Department of Gender and Women’s Health at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

“Nafsiah Mboi is an inspiring and highly effective leader,” said Simon Bland, Chair of the Global Fund Board. “She is committed to building upon the reforms of the past two years, and she and Mireille Guigaz will make an outstanding team that can lead the Global Fund to a new level of achievement.”

Mr Bland and Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng will serve as Board Chair and Vice-Chair through the next Board meeting on 18-19 June 2013. At the conclusion of that meeting, responsibility will be transferred to incoming Chair and Vice-Chair. It will be the first time since the Global Fund was established in 2002 that its Board will be led by two women.

Madame Guigaz most recently served as France’s Ambassador for the fight against HIV and AIDS and communicable diseases, representing France on the Board of the Global Fund, a position she also held in the early days of the Global Fund. She has served on the Board’s Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee and its Audit and Ethics Committee, as well as on the Boards of UNITAID and Roll Back Malaria.

In a career devoted to issues of global health, development and human rights, Mme Guigaz has served in numerous positions, including as France’s Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization. She earned a PhD in medical law and health care economics at the University of Lyon. She also earned a Master of law and political sciences from the Institute of Political Studies of Lyon and a Master’s degree in mediation from the Kurt Bösch Institute.

A planned handover period during May and June will allow for a smooth transition of leadership, at a time when the Global Fund is preparing to raise funds at a once-every-three-years pledging conference in late 2013, intended to accelerate the fight against HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Partnership is a founding principle of the Global Fund, and one the Board’s practices to embrace partnership between donor and implementer countries has been to alternate between a Board Chair from a donor nation, and from an implementer country.  The same applies to the role of Board Vice-Chair.

Dr Nafsiah and Mme Guigaz will serve in a personal capacity.  In their new roles, they will represent the interests of the entire Global Fund, instead of representing their home country.

Dr Nafsiah and Mme Guigaz were selected by unanimous electronic vote by the Board on 18 March 2013.

26 March 2013
Shawn Clackett

Dr Mark Dybul visits Australia

Dr Mark Dybul

If the world of infectious diseases had superstars,
Mark Dybul would probably be one of them.

– Australian Financial Review

Between 13 – 16 March 2013, the newly-appointed Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Dr Mark Dybul, visited Australia for the first time. Prior to assuming his new position as Executive Director of the Global Fund in February 2013, Dr Dybul served as the head of PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS) between 2006 and 2009. In 2004, he moved to PEPFAR as Deputy Chief Medical Officer. Soon he was promoted to Assistant, then Deputy, and then Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. In 2006, Mark Dybul was appointed to head the organisation as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, equivalent level to an Assistant Secretary of State in the U.S. State Department. He served there until 2009. Under his tenure PEPFAR budgets quadrupled.

During his visit, Dr Dybul was accompanied by Dr Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund; Mr Don Baxter, Australian Board Member on the Global Fund; Mr Bill Bowtell, Executive Director of Pacific Friends; Mr Chris Puplick, Senior Advisor to the Health Minister of New South Wales; and Mr Shawn Clackett, Administrative and Communications Officer of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund.

On Wednesday 13 March, the Global fund team visited Melbourne for a roundtable discussion with representatives of Australian non-government organisations (NGO) and leaders of HIV research institutions. The meeting was co-hosted by Professor Brendan Crabb, Executive Director of the Burnet Institute; and Ms Maree Nutt, National Manager of RESULTS Australia. Dr Dybul and Dr Benn briefed the meeting on recent structural changes to the Global Fund, including the revision of new grant and financial management arrangements; and strategy for the 2013 Replenishment year of the Global Fund. Sir Gustav Nossal, a distinguished Australian research biologist, famous for his contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance; Professor Sharon Lewin, Co-Chair of the 2014 Melbourne International AIDS Conference; and Mr Bill Whittaker AM, Advisory Council Member of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund were among those who attended the Melbourne meeting.

Professor Brendan Crabb with The Global Fund's Executive Director, Dr Mark Dybul.

Burnet’s Professor Brendan Crabb with Global Fund’s Dr Mark Dybul

Between 13 – 15 March, Dr Dybul and Dr Benn visited Canberra. During the visit, Dr Dybul was received by the Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, who is also the Patron of Pacific Friends of the Global Fund. Dr Dybul and Dr Benn also met Senator the Hon Bob Carr, the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Hon Tanya Plibersek, the Minister for Health; and the Hon Julie Bishop, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Foreign Minister. Dr Dybul and Dr Benn also met Mr Peter Baxter, Director General of AusAID, and senior AusAID officers.

Mark Dybul Meeting Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC

Dr Mark Dybul Meeting the Governor-General, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC

On the final leg of his journey, Dr Dybul visited Sydney between 15 – 16 March 2013. On Friday, 15 March, he met with some forty representatives of Sydney based non-government organisations (NGO) involved in HIV. Ms Wendy McCarthy AO chaired this meeting.

Mark Dybul at the Access to Life ExhibitOn March 16, Dr Dybul visited the Access to Life Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.  This powerful photographic exhibition has already moved millions of people around the world through its touching images of AIDS-affected communities. Dr Dybul was accompanied by Ms Anni Turnbull, the Curator of the Exhibition; Mr Mark Goggin, General Manager of the Powerhouse Museum; Mr Ross Hutton, Public Health Manager at the Oil Search Health Foundation; Dr Kevin Miles, HIV Technical Specialist at the Oil Search Health Foundation; and Mr Tim Siegenbeek van Heukelom, Program Analyst and Information Coordinator at the Oil Search Health Foundation.

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review given during his visit, Dr Dybul said that “…we have this small window to beat two plagues… and we can actually do it if we pull together; that’s something we can do. The world is pretty constrained financially, but it’s still a pretty wealthy world.”

Mark Dybul made the strong point that with a little more funding, we can turn these pandemics into low-level endemics, but we need to step up our game to become a true global family. We hope that Dr Mark Dybul will have a good and lasting effect on the Global Fund, on these three diseases, and on the world. As the Australian Financial Review commented, “if the world of infectious diseases had superstars, Mark Dybul would probably be one of them.”

26 March 2013
Shawn Clackett

Global Fund News Flash

Issue 16 – 21 March 2013

The Global Fund Logo

New Funding Model Hits the Ground Running

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the countries taking the lead in implementing the Global Fund’s new funding model that was launched last month. Among the 50 or so countries that will access new funding in a transition phase this year, the DRC  is one of a handful invited to participate fully, going through all steps of the application process from submission of a concept note to creation of a new grant. At a gathering in Kinshasa, senior officials from DRC and the Global Fund discussed the context and dynamics of the new funding model, where US$130 in additional funding has been identified for HIV programs and US$ 85 million for malaria. Those investments will support programs that provide a significant amount of antiretroviral drugs to HIV patients and provide millions of replacement mosquito nets to people trying to prevent the spread of malaria. The DRC’s Minister of Health, Dr Felix Kabange, cited the flexibility and the inclusive dialogue in the new funding model, and said he had already seen signs of it in preparatory work in recent months. “I have seen things change significantly, both in our way of discussing things and in the way of dealing with problems and defining priorities,” Kabange said. The DRC and the Global Fund had established a true partnership, he said. “We are engaged in a constructive dialogue, which cannot fail to lead to advances.”

Mark Edington, Head of Grant Management at the Global Fund, who was also in Kinshasa for the event, said that partnership is most effective in countries which are already investing significant amounts of their own resources in fighting disease. He highlighted Kabange’s strong personal commitment to increased domestic funding of health programs, but said that the DRC’s government needed to make more health financing available for HIV, TB and malaria to match the grants. “We need to see the leadership of the Democratic Republic of Congo recognize the importance of investing in health and we need to see them put money into fighting the three diseases,” he said. “There is so much to do in the DRC and, while the Minister of Health is extremely committed to putting sufficient amounts in the budget, to date, the National Assembly has not upheld his budget lines.” Only 12 percent of people who need antiretroviral therapy are getting the medication in DRC and only 6 percent of pregnant women receive antiretroviral therapy that prevents the transmission of HIV to their child, he added. Kabange and Edington both promised to work to succeed in getting the DRC to invest more in health services given its high disease burden.

21 March 2013
Shawn Clackett

To Stop Tuberculosis In Its Tracks, Urgent Global Action Is Needed

An Article from Forbes Posted 3/19/2013 @ 8:00AM
By John Lechleiter, Contributor

TB is a Curable Disease

One of the most severe cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis in the United States has been reported in southern Texas: a strain of TB resilient to at least eight of the 15 drugs used to treat this deadly airborne disease. This report comes hot on the heels of news that South Africa has become the fourth country – after India, Iran and Italy – to register strains of TB that can overpower at least 10 of these drugs.

As we mark World TB Day on Sunday March 24, there can be no denying that TB, fueled by drug resistance, continues to pose a serious global health threat – one that must be urgently addressed. An outbreak of drug-resistant TB in New York City in the early 1990s cost more than $1 billion and killed 29 Americans. With resistance spreading, we need a renewed global commitment that combines public and private efforts to defeat TB.

According to the World Health Organization, more than eight million people became infected with TB and 1.4 million died in 2011 – that’s about the entire population of Greater Indianapolis, the city where I live. And between 2009 and 2011, drug-resistant TB cases doubled in the 27 most-affected countries.

Yet there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. New partnership models are marshaling the resources and knowledge required to produce new TB innovations that can outflank the disease – and ensure that patients benefit from them.

For example, Cepheid has developed a rapid diagnostic test, GeneXpert, which can identify TB – and the presence of drug-resistant bacteria – in about two hours. The U.S. government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are now collaborating in countries with high TB burdens to subsidize the purchase of these state-of-the-art tools.

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19 March 2013
Shawn Clackett

How Funds Are Allocated in The Global Fund’s New Funding Model

The Global Fund Logo

The Global Fund launched its new funding model in late February, and since then we have received a lot of questions about how funding decisions were made. There is considerable interest in how to access the US$1.9 billion available for the new funding model’s transition period, in 2013 and 2014. The main criteria give priority to countries positioned to achieve rapid impact, to countries facing service interruptions and to countries that have received less than they should under new allocation principles that look primarily at disease burden and national income level. Adjustments are also made to take into account external financing levels provided by other donors. And for the six countries invited as “early applicants” to go through all steps of the application process (from submission of a concept note to creation of a new grant) region and country size are considered, too. We need a diversity of programs and settings and conditions so we can see how the new funding model works during the transition this year and next. That way, we can make refinements and changes as needed.

The Global Fund’s approach to allocation carefully follows decisions on the new funding model made by the Global Fund Board. One important requirement made by the Board was that allocations in the new funding model consider both committed and uncommitted funds, so that the Global Fund’s investment as a whole covers the major gaps and needs across the three diseases in a more strategic way. In addition to the US$1.9 billion in uncommitted funds that will be available in 2013-14, allocations also factor in the much larger amount of funds that were already committed in previous years, and may be disbursed in 2013-2014.

A related point about the new funding model may be relevant to the 47 countries that can apply for funding as “interim applicants” for grant renewals, grant extensions or redesigned programs that can rapidly make use of funds in 2013 and 2014. The Global Fund is taking both committed and uncommitted funds into account as it determines allocation amounts for the 2014-2016 period. In practice, that means that funds that come in 2014 will be considered part of a country’s overall 2014-2016 allocation. In all cases, applicants are encouraged to look at how to use all funds in a way that best delivers impact. Continue Reading.

Pacific Friends operates as a program within the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales.

Pacific Friends

Professor Janice Reid AC
Chair
Bill Bowtell AO
Executive Director

Pacific Friends of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is a high-level advocacy organisation which seeks to mobilise regional awareness of the serious threat posed by HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to societies and economies in the Pacific. In pursuing its goals Pacific Friends has a specific interest in highlighting the need to protect the rights of women and children in the Pacific.

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