GENEVA – The Global Fund announced mid-year results that show that 8.1 million people are receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV through programs supported by Global Fund grants, a 22 percent increase since the same time last year.
Global Fund-supported programs have distributed 548 million mosquito nets to protect children and families against malaria, an annual increase of 32 percent.
The results also reported an eight per cent increase in the number of TB cases detected and treated, with 13.2 million people assisted through programs supported by the Global Fund. There was also a 55 percent increase in the number of people treated for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, rising to 210,000 treatments.
“The Global Fund is a partnership and these results show that more lives are being improved through collective effort than ever before,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Whether it be providing resources or implementing programs, partners are working hard across the world to prevent and treat the diseases and support access to healthcare.”
Other notable results include a 20 percent increase in the number of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving medication to prevent transmission to their child, or 3.1 million women. The number of people receiving counselling and testing for HIV also increased, by 18 per cent, to 423 million.
The number of tuberculosis cases successfully treated increased 12 percent to 10.7 million, while the number of malaria cases treated was up 19 percent to 515 million.
Roll Back Malaria Partnership releases new strategies to guide global efforts toward malaria elimination by 2030
(10 July 2015; United Nations, Geneva) On 13 July, world leaders at the 3rd International Financing for Development (FfD) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will discuss the new World Health Assembly endorsed Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership’s Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016-2030 (AIM) – for a malaria-free world. Together, these documents provide technical guidance and a framework for action and investment to achieve the ambitious malaria elimination targets outlined in the forthcoming United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This new comprehensive vision will be formally launched during a special malaria financing event convened by H.E. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
Progress in the fight against malaria since 2000 has resulted in a 58% reduction in malaria mortality – with more than 6.2 million malaria deaths averted between 2001 – 2015. However, malaria remains a major cause and consequence of poverty and inequity worldwide. It impedes economic development, undermines food security,stops children going to school, and absorbs the capacity of national systems to respond effectively to health security threats.
On the release of this comprehensive new vision, the United Nations Secretary-General, BAN-Ki-moon noted: “Reaching our 2030 global malaria goals will not only save millions of lives, it will reduce poverty and create healthier, more equitable societies. Ensuring the continued reduction and elimination of malaria will generate benefits for entire communities, businesses, agriculture, health systems and households.” The United Nations Secretary-General continued, “Transforming our understanding of the powerful return on investment of ending malaria deaths into dynamic and effective action on the ground will be essential to realizing the future we want, where all people enjoy the equality and dignity they deserve.”
The result of worldwide expert consultation with regions, countries and affected communities, the complementary Global Technical Strategy for Malaria and AIM documents share the 2016-2030 timeline of the UN SDGs and provide milestones to measure progress. Together, the documents lay out the technical strategies required to continue driving down the burden of malaria, while charting the investment and collective actions needed to reach the 2030 malaria goals of reducing global malaria case incidence and deaths by 90% – compared to 2015 – and eliminating the disease in an additional 35 countries.
“The new 2030 malaria goals – and the 2020 and 2025 milestones laid out in the WHO and RBM strategies – are ambitious but achievable,” said Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “We must accelerate progress toward malaria elimination to ensure that neither parasite resistance to drugs, mosquito resistance to insecticides, nor malaria resurgence unravels the tremendous gains to date. We can and must achieve even greater impact to protect the investment the global community has made.”
While completely preventable and treatable, WHO has estimated that there will be 214 million cases of malaria infection in 2015, claiming the lives of approximately 472,000 people,the majority of them African children under five years of age.Despite unprecedented progress to-date, more than half of the world’s population remainsat risk of malaria infection today.
Adequate and predictable financing and innovations for new tools will be critical to scale-up interventions and reach the WHO/RBM targets of malaria elimination. In RBM’s AIM document, experts outline that over US $100 billion is needed to achieve 2030 target of reducing the malaria burden by 90%, with an additional US$ 10 billion needed to fund research and development of new tools, including new drugs and insecticides. To achieve the first milestone of reducing malaria incidence and mortality rates by 40%, annual malaria investments will need to rise to US$6.4 billion by 2020.
While total international and domestic funding peaked at US $2.7 billion in 2013, current declines in international development financing is impacting the world’s ability to maintain progress against malaria. Acceleration toward malaria elimination will require increased financing by the international donor community, as well as increased domestic financing by affected countries.
“Investing to achieve the new 2030 malaria goals will avert nearly 3 billion malaria cases and save over 10 million lives. If we are able to reach these targets, the world stands to generate US $4 trillion of additional economic output across the 2016-2030 timeframe,” said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. “Now, more than ever, we must re-focus our efforts and re-commit our budgets so we can continue saving lives and unlock economic potential in communities around the world.”
At a cost of US $5-8 per case averted, malaria has continually proven to be one of the most cost-effective investments in public health, with relatively low investments yielding high results even beyond the health sector, and experts estimate that the return will only continue growing as countries begin focusing on elimination targets. New analysis in AIM reveals that the global return on investment of achieving the 2030 malaria goals is 40:1, rising to an unprecedented 60:1 for sub-Saharan Africa. This reinforces the evidence that continued efforts to reduce the burden of malaria have the potential to stimulate transformative and inclusive growth.
Malaria reduction and elimination will be critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and will help advance development efforts across sectors by reducing school absenteeism, fighting poverty, increasing gender parity and improving maternal and child health. Lives saved from effective malaria interventions have been linked to a 20% reduction in all-cause child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000, while efforts to prevent malaria in pregnancy have averted nearly 95,000 newborn deaths between 2009 and 2012.These numbers represent an entire generation given the chance to live healthy lives and grow into strong, contributing members of society.
Sometimes it takes a crisis to return an organization to its “original principles.”
Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, spoke with Devex about some of the challenges the organization faced — particularly around financial management — and about how they spurred a re-examination of the Global Fund’s approach.
“Everything we do, from our internal systems to how we work with countries, has been redone,” Dybul told Devex at the 2015 European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium.
Dybul assumed leadership of the Global Fund in 2012, after serving as U.S. global AIDS coordinator. His appointment came amid reports of mismanagement at the organization, which has disbursed nearly $27 billion since it was founded in 2002. Allegations of fraud in some of the fund’s partner countries led some major donor governments to suspend their contributions.
It also prompted the Global Fund to take a hard look at how it operates and works with countries, Dybul told Devex.
“We hadn’t really fulfilled the partnership approach to support countries to achieve objectives and move along that development continuum,” Dybul said.
The fund’s fifth replenishment — when donors commit resources to the organization to support three years of grant-making — will take place in 2016. Dybul spoke about how development funding models are changing, and what this means for a fund that bills itself as a “21st century organization.”
by Bianca Auping-Kamps –Senior Fund Portfolio Manager, the Global Fund
In remote parts of Papua New Guinea, focusing HIV prevention on those most at risk of the virus is not straightforward. I was confronted with this in Port Moresby recently as I discussed the condom use of sex workers with some of the Global Fund’s implementing partners.
What happens, for example, when someone is trading sex for transport? While they may not identify as a sex worker, they are nonetheless potentially exposed to HIV. Reaching people like this is an absolute necessity.
Challenges like this informed a new grant we formalised in Papua New Guinea today. While Papua New Guinea has made good progress in reducing its HIV epidemic, only a grassroots, community-led approach will make fresh inroads against the disease.
That’s why the new grant focusses on behaviour. It looks at how people at risk of HIV act in the real world, but also the attitudes of those who need to support them, such as medical and criminal justice workers. In Papua New Guinea, gender based violence and stigma against men who have sex with men and transgender people is still very real. So the solutions need to be grounded and realistic.
For example, peer leaders in the transgender community will be trained to distribute condoms among their friends and colleagues and point them towards medical services, when necessary. Since these peer leaders will work with specific clinics, trust will deepen. At the same time, health workers will be trained to be more sensitive and receptive to groups such as men who have sex with men. In a more trusting, open environment, people are more likely to discuss their behaviour and address risk.
Today’s grant agreement is a good encapsulation of the Global Fund Partnership. Partners such as the Australian and US Government have worked with people affected by HIV as well as Papua New Guinea churches, health officials and private sector partners such as Oil Search Health Foundation to create this program. No one has all the answers but by working together in partnership we can have a genuine impact.
Global Health News
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.