By King’s Office Correspondent | 2019-10-10
LYON, FRANCE – Deaths caused by HIV and AIDS have been halved since 2002 globally, with 32 million lives saved by the intervention of the Global Fund.
However, despite this progress new HIV infections remain unacceptable, malaria elimination progress has stagnated since 2015, while new TB cases have increased by 10 per cent in West and Central Africa.
These are among the key challenges that world leaders have gathered to address at the Global Fund Sixth Replenishment Conference hosted by France President Emmanuel Macron.
The conference is also attended by His Majesty King Mswati III. The Kingdom of Eswatini is a major beneficiary of the Global Fund with over US$265 893 078 (more than E3.9 billion) being extended to the kingdom to date, to implement activities under the three epidemics and health systems strengthening programmes.
The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion – US$1 billion from the private sector – for the next three years.
The funds will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.
“To safeguard the progress already achieved and meet the challenges ahead, the entire international community must join forces and accelerate progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3: Health and well-being for all,” is the call made by Global Fund to the leaders at the conference.
The Fund raises financial resources in three-year periods known as ‘replenishment cycles’.
The Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference marks the beginning of the next three-year replenishment cycle, which will run from 2020-2022.
Yesterday, nine private sector organisations made new commitments to help solve critical challenges with innovative mobile and digital technology, consumer goods and finance that provide crucial technical expertise and know-how. “The Global Fund needs forward-thinking and innovative approaches if we are to end the epidemics of AIDS, TB and malaria. These commitments exemplify the private sector’s expertise to help break down barriers to access health services and accelerate the fight,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
The event in Lyon showcased how private sector commitments are supporting the development of new and better products, such as better formulations for children to treat HIV, TB and malaria, simpler and cheaper diagnostics, and long-acting treatments, as well as reducing the time products take to reach patients.
“The private sector can play a transformational role when it comes to ending the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. We need continued investment in new technologies, health innovations and greater efficiency. This will accelerate access to newer and more effective tools, said Sherwin Charles, the Global Fund board member representing the private sector, and CEO of Goodbye Malaria.
The new partnerships are framed to innovate solutions that improve access to medicines, products and health services, particularly for those in hard to reach areas and those that need them most.
According to Global fund, today's pledges build on those made by private sector partners earlier this year and during the World Economic Forum in Africa. These include Project Last Mile (with Coca Cola, USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), GBCHealth, Africa Health Business, PharmAccess and Zenysis Technologies.
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