CategoriesGFAN Africa

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria: 44 million lives saved, 20 million lives at stake

As part of the global drive to see progress in the fight HIV,TB and malaria accelerate and deliver a strong message to African leaders in  the mid-year coordinating meeting for the African Uion and Regional Economic Communities. Hundreds of people join a continental march to use the power of their voice to demand for increased domestic resource mobilization and commitments to meet the $$ 18billion global fund target. These collective voices represented the urgency to galvanise action and boost financial pledges.”

The match was flagged off by the Minister of Health Hon Sylvia Masebo, civil society, religious leaders, private sector and young people. These voices unite to inspire urgent public and political action to step up the fight in the run up to a critical moment for funding – the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Replenishment conference in September in New York.  

The match serves as timely reminder to the African leaders ahead of the AU summit about the devastating impact of the three diseases.  ‘With the right leadership, tools and funding, millions of  lives continue to saved! This is critical in the delivery and action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and represents an important moment towards achieving SDG 3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages – as well as accelerating progress against multiple other SDGs and achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).’ Rosemary Mburu

It is important to note that the Global Fund’s target of at least US $18 billion includes funding from the private sector. However – these three diseases are huge global problems and they need a global large-scale approach. We need all hands-on deck! We definitely cannot take on this challenge on piece meal. The Global Fund operates in over 100 countries, across the world building on why it is best placed to take on this global epidemic. 

In recent months it has been exciting to see other countries step up and increase their commitment to the Global Fund for the next three years. Against this backdrop we urge the African governments to demonstrate continued global leadership in the fight against these three epidemics by increasing the overall contribution by 30% to Global Fund and to domestic resources for health. 

The purpose of the march is to accelerate and maintain momentum on the push for a fully replenished Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The pledge from African states will bring our countries one step closer to keeping the promise on achieving better health care for all by 2030.  Achieving the hugely ambitious goal – which will prevent xx cases and save xx lives.  

“We have a real and rare opportunity to be a part of ending this diseases and changing history, which is why I’m so delighted to call on leaders to step up their support for the Global Fund ,” said Evaline Kibuchi of Stop TB. 

In addition to its immediate life-saving impact, funding the Global Fund will also help to boost economic growth and enable countries to take ownership of tackling their own disease burden. The Global Fund is a smart investment and remains a highly effective mechanism for investment in global health and security. The Global Fund delivers strong value for money. This includes leveraging domestic investments in health from countries affected by the three diseases. More than one-third of the Global Fund’s investments go to building resilient and sustainable systems for health, which have a powerful multiplier effect, not only on people’s overall health status but also on countries as a whole.

Investment by African leaders through the Global Fund has been a critical driver of progress to date and will be essential to staying on the right side of the tipping point. The current trajectory of progress could fall away, costing millions of lives and billions of dollars, or we could seize the opportunity to accelerate action to reach the globally agreed goals on AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030. 

 

CategoriesAfNHI

African activists call for ensuring women and girls have a choice and a voice in HIV prevention and applaud UNAIDS for joining the fight…

African feminists and HIV prevention advocates are united in their advocacy for ensuring African women and girls in their diversity have a range of HIV prevention options to choose from, including the dapivirine vagina ring (ring). While several African countries have approved the licensure of the ring and the WHO has included the ring on the list of essential medicines, some donors are backing away from their support of the ring for rollout beyond the planned Introductory studies as well as support for future research in longer acting rings. Advocates have called for accelerated access to the ring and not to lose sight of the
importance of championing choice and respecting the investment African women and communities have made in bringing the ring to this point. We applaud UNAIDS for promptly responding to a call from advocates to engage on this with their
convening of a meeting on 27 & 28 June in Johannesburg to discuss advocacy for ensuring women and girls have a choice and a voice. At the meeting, UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima accepted the challenge to join women activists to call for accelerated global support and access to long acting HIV prevention tools for women, including the ring.

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We hold UNAIDS leadership to their commitments:

  • To address inequalities, policy and structural barriers to access the new long acting HIV prevention tools, including the ring, through the UNAIDS Global HIV Prevention Strategy
  • For the UNAIDS executive director, Winnie Byanyima, to champion women-led HIV prevention in the continent and beyond, being a voice for African women,
  • To open doors with donors – mainly PEPFAR and USAID – and further the discussion for a change of policy which will allow access and support to roll out the Dapivirine Ring,
  • For the UNAIDS Regional East and Southern Africa office to work with advocates in the region to champion women-led prevention campaigns for the ring and other HIV prevention options
  • To integrate a stronger HIV prevention focus into the UNAIDS regional East and Southern African strategy which is in the process of development.
  • To ensure that young women have access to spaces where decisions are made that affect their choices.

 

UNAIDS committed to a follow-on meeting at AIDS2022 to discuss next steps and to ensure that the call
for choice resounds through the conference halls. At the same time, we commend WHO in their statement of continued support of their 2021 recommendation for the ring as an additional prevention option for women at substantial risk of HIV; and the Global Fund for their inclusion of the dapivirine ring in their procurement catalog. And we applaud the African governments who have approved the ring thus far and see the importance of listening to the communities who have said that choice matters in HIV prevention. We call on other African governments to approve the ring and ensure that young women in particular have options to choose from that can work in their lives.

 

Expanded HIV prevention options are critical for women in east and southern Africa where HIV is a persistent public health, reproductive justice, and human rights issue for girls and women. We call on all community, national, regional and global leaders to join us in ensuring young women have a voice and a choice in protecting their lives!

Authors
Yvette Raphael, Advocates for the Prevention of HIV in Africa, South Africa
Nomfundo Eland, Emthojeni, South Africa
Lillian Mworeko, ICW East Africa, Uganda
Vuyiseka Dubula, AEDC, South Africa
Chilufya K Hampongo, Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign, Zambia
Maureen Luba, AVAC, Malawi
Rosemary Mburu, WACI Health, Kenya
Definate Nhamo, PZAT, Zimbabwe
Manju Chatani-Gada, AVAC, USA
Georgina Caswell, GNP+, South Africa
Dr. Lilian Benjamin Mwakyosi, DARE, Tanzania.
Joyce Nganga, Africa Free of New HIV Infections (AfNHi)
Gloria Mululu,Africa Free of New HIV Infections (AfNHi)

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