31 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

Kenya Aims to Reduce Malaria Mortality by Two Thirds by 2017

Global Fund News Release – 31 March 2014

Photo from http://www.theguardian.com/journalismcompetition/gsk-malaria

NAIROBI, Kenya – The Global Fund, the Government of Kenya, and the African Medical and Research Foundation today signed a grant agreement worth US$80 million that will support Kenya’s continuing fight against malaria.

By maintaining universal coverage with Long-Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN), and the provision of quality assured treatment for malaria (ACTs), Kenya expects to reduce malaria mortality by two-thirds by 2017.

“We welcome this funding that is supporting our objective to achieve universal nets ownership in Kenya and availability of diagnostic and treatments for malaria,” said James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Health. “These Global Fund grants are focused on scaling up interventions for impact through the procurement and distribution of 7.7 million LLINs in 23 counties.”

The emphasis of targeting for impact is consistent with the new funding model of the Global Fund. This grant aims to bring together the provision of effective medicines and diagnostics to public and faith-based health facilities with quality control for both medicines and diagnostics. In addition it will also continue to support behavior change communication (BCC) and program monitoring and evaluation.

“Since the start, grant implementation in Kenya has contributed to significant gains in malaria control,” said Linden Morrison, Head of High Impact Africa II Department at the Global Fund. “We are encouraged by Kenya’s work and its proposal that aims to sustain the scale-up of its efforts and consolidation of its current gains.”

The programs will be implemented by the National Treasury through Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF).

The work of the two actors complement each other with the National Treasury undertaking treatment and prevention at facility level, plus vector control measures such as LLIN and IRS.

AMREF is implementing the community case management of malaria, conducting training and undertaking BCC activities. The organization will be supporting over 700 Community Units, more than 7,000 Community Health Workers and 21 Civil Society Organizations.

“With this support, we will be able to reach out to vulnerable communities who have poor access to services,” said Dr. Teguest Guerma, Director General of AMREF. “Community involvement in this fight is very critical. We appreciate the support of the Global Fund, the Government of Kenya and the communities we work with, to strengthen our commitment for a lasting health change in Africa.”

AMREF is a health African Non-Governmental Organisation that implements programmes through communities and in partnership with host governments and Civil Society actors. Through AMREF’s work, Kenya is able to sustain the gains made in reaching vulnerable populations with quality diagnosis, treatment and prevention services.

Kenya has a population of 38 million people. The Malaria Control Program of Kenya estimates that 70 percent of the Kenyan population is at risk of malaria and 66 percent (two thirds of the population) is at risk of malaria in endemic, highland epidemic prone and seasonal transmission areas. The estimated number of malaria cases reported in 2010 was 3.5 million and parasite prevalence among children under five years was 8 percent.

Kenya has reported a decline by up to 44 percent in under-five mortality in sentinel districts, attributed to LLIN use. Inpatient malaria mortality indicated a 47 percent decline between 2000 and 2010.

 

For more information please contact:

The Global Fund
Marcela Rojo

26 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

What’s Behind this Photo?

Global Fund News Flash: Issue 40

Photographer John Rae
John Rae is a documentary and commercial photographer who has worked with the Global Fund since 2002 and delivered some of our most memorable images. Over the years, John has visited over 45 countries to document efforts to defeat AIDS, TB and malaria. This is the second in a series of memorable photos that John is telling us about:

In November 2007, I went to “the hills” of western Nepal – 4,500 meter rock walls that anywhere else in the world would be called mountains. A dangerous road got me to a small town called Silgadhi, where I saw a support group called People Living with AIDS. Its leader is Tara BK. She is my hero.

Tara is a short woman with bright eyes and a quick smile that belies the trials she has been through. She belongs to a low caste called the Bisokarma. That means if Tara goes to a restaurant she has to wash her own dishes when she has finished eating. It means she is not allowed to sell milk, and people in higher castes fear that buying milk from her will make the cow will climb up a tree. The caste system must still be going strong in rural Nepal. I have never seen any cows in trees.

Tara told me that she got married six years ago. Shortly afterward, her husband left in search of work in India and did not return for five years. She was tired of waiting and decided to join her husband in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. That was unusual for a woman in Nepal, but Tara was determined to be with her husband. Nine months later Tara gave birth to a healthy son. That same week, her husband began shivering and was running a high fever. He was diagnosed with AIDS. The local hospital was ill-equipped to treat him, and recommended he go to the “big hospital” in Hyderabad. But her husband’s health quickly deteriorated and he died just a week after the test.

Two days later, Tara began the long journey back to Silgadhi with her newborn son. Not long after her return, Tara began to feel weak. She was breathless and broke into a fever and began to shiver. Salibaan, a man from her village who worked at the local health clinic approached her and she confided in him that she feared she may have “desi rog.” Salibaan, who had received HIV/AIDS training told her that the clinic had a program for testing, counselling and medication.

Fearing for her baby, Tara took the test for HIV. It came back positive. She was devastated. She was warned not to breastfeed her baby. But without an income and unable to work, and with a hungry baby to feed, she saw no choice and reluctantly began to breastfeed her child. Within months her son died.

Soon after, Tara revisited the health clinic and received free antiretroviral medication and counselling. Staff asked if she would be willing to “come out” about the results. After losing her husband and her son to the disease, she did not care what others thought about her status. If “coming out” would help others, she thought, there was no reason to hesitate. She was the first in her area to acknowledge her status publically and realized she could use her sorrow and experience to help others. She joined the local People Living with HIV/AIDS support group and was elected president. She began receiving a monthly salary of 3,000 Rupees (about US$30.) It enabled her to slowly repay the loan for her marriage, and the medical and cremation expenses for her son. Her mission now is simple: to prevent new infections and support people suffering from HIV and AIDS.

Tara’s life is not easy. She lives with her mother-in-law in a small mud hut. She is HIV-positive. She faces discrimination, as a lower caste, and is also stigmatized for her HIV status. Despite it all, Tara still walks 15-25 kilometers a day through the “hills” to help patients living with HIV and AIDS. Tara is my hero.

26 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

Mozambique Aims to Reach Universal Malaria Protection in 2014

Global Fund News Release – 26 March 2014

Logos

MAPUTO, Mozambique – The Ministry of Health of Mozambique, together with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, World Vision and BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities today announced a partnership to ensure that every family in Mozambique will be protected from malaria by the end of this year’s campaign.

Working towards this goal, the Ministry of Health and World Vision-Mozambique , a Christian relief and development organization, have signed grants for US$85 million with the Global Fund to support malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment for the next three years. BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, a registered charity established by the company, has contributed US$10 million to the Global Fund to support these grants.

“Our country is committed to winning the fight against malaria,” said Francisco Mbofana  National Director Of Public Health of Mozambique. “We are looking forward to our net distribution campaign starting in July to reach universal coverage for malaria prevention,” he added.

The grants will fund distribution of long lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying (IRS) in areas not covered by these nets, training of health workers in the diagnosis and treatment of malaria, and community sensitization and mobilization. Partnership development within communities and with civil society will also be supported.

“The Global Fund is very pleased to continue to work in Mozambique to provide access to diagnosis and treatment through the national health system,” said Kirsi Viisainen, Senior Portfolio Manager for Mozambique at the Global Fund. “Mozambique is a good example of collaboration between government, civil society and the private sector in funding and implementing a national, concerted response against malaria, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of this partnership.”

World Vision-Mozambique has hailed this “potentially life-saving development in a country where malaria is the leading cause of death of children in Mozambique.” Graham Strong, the child-focused organization’s National Director, added: “this effort is proof of the common resolve of civil society, government and the private sector to work alongside communities in stopping this on-going tragedy.”

Ian Wood, Chair, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, said: “BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities is delighted to have contributed US$10 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.”

“This brings BHP Billiton’s commitment to Mozambique close to $30 million over five years.  In addition to the Global Fund contribution, we are supporting maternal and child health, improved access to clean water and sanitation, and sustainable livelihoods through the support of small scale farmers.”

BHP Billiton is a leading global resources company, and the major shareholder of Mozal Aluminium smelter in Boane, Mozambique.

Malaria is considered the most important public health challenge in Mozambique. Decreasing transmission of the mosquito-borne disease in Mozambique is an important goal for the country and its neighbors, as Mozambique is the only hyper endemic country in the region.

For more information please contact:

The Global Fund
Marcela Rojo

24 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

TB: Reach the 3 Million

Global Fund News Release: 24 March 2014

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The Global Fund is accelerating efforts to support countries implementing tuberculosis programs with the aim of reaching three million people that are not diagnosed, treated or documented in the fight against the disease every year.

Three million of the nine million people that get sick with TB do not get the care they need.

Many countries around the world are now strengthening their TB strategic plans and setting new targets to drive down the numbers of deaths and cases of TB, while identifying priorities, best use of domestic resources, and funding gaps for controlling TB.

The Global Fund has a new funding model that seeks to support countries in filling those gaps, by focusing on the needs of the most vulnerable people in settings with high rates of TB. Inclusive country dialogue and investing for impact are fundamental to the new funding model, and to finding the missed three million.

To mark World TB Day, Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, visited South Africa with Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, for a ministerial meeting of South African Development Community countries. The meeting – hosted by the South African deputy president and sponsored by the World Bank, Stop TB Partnership and The Global Fund – is working to harmonize the region’s response to tuberculosis infection amongst the mining community. This partnership has a focus on reducing the burden of TB amongst a population that accounts for about 30 percent of all infections in Southern Africa.

“Our partners are driving a more targeted approach, and we support efforts to accelerate in that direction,” said Dr. Dybul. “People in countries with these vulnerable populations who make up a big percentage of the missing cases can take advantage of the flexibility and agility of the new funding model to reach more people affected by TB.”

The World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership said that 75 percent of the three million cases are concentrated in 12 countries. The Global Fund is supporting projects in all 12 countries, but further work is needed within countries to target and speed up interventions to specific areas that account for gaps in diagnosis and treatment.

Countries implementing the new funding model can reprogram, prioritize and focus on this critical gap of the unreached to change the course of TB. The Global Fund has also set in place a regional initiatives mechanism to fight MDR-TB in the most efficient way. Dr. Ditiu said the new funding model will help countries to invest in interventions that will bear significant impact.

“With the new funding model, it is an opportune time for us – the TB community at large – to strategically invest funding on interventions that will have a significant impact, and make a difference to those suffering from TB and to ensure we reach people that are otherwise not reached,” said Dr. Ditiu.

“This is a significant partnership effort that requests that we really work together in a coordinated, transparent and supportive manner – country representatives, donors, communities, and people affected by TB, researchers, multilateral organizations,” she said.

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