Over 20 years of the existence of the Global Fund partnership, the world’s largest multilateral investor in grants for systems for health, communities and civil society has made extraordinary progress in the fight against HIV, TB, and Malaria. The Global Fund Advocates network in Africa hosted pre-preparatory meetings of the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment 2024-2026 on the 21st and 22nd of February 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Communities and civil society partners from Africa and the world convened to reflect on the status of HIV, TB, Malaria, and health systems in the region, see how the 20 years of Global Fund being in existence have impacted lives, and look at prospects for health financing in Africa. Other agendas of the meeting included discussing Global Fund’s seventh replenishment preparatory meeting and key messaging, as well as discussing strategies and key actions to take forward, leading up to the replenishment.
According to the Results 2021 report, as of 2020 over 44 million lives have been saved, with 219 million people on antiretroviral therapy for HIV, 4.7 million people received TB treatment and 188 million mosquito nets were distributed in 2020. In the report, there was a clear decrease in case finding and preventive services across all 3 epidemics responses due to COVID-19. COVID-19 is threatening the progress made so far on the journey of epidemic control. It has had such a huge impact on the three diseases, and as a result disrupted crucial health services, such as testing, and access to treatment services, and commodities. This has placed the countries at risk of increasing their incidence rate. Trends indicate that services are progressively resuming but we must significantly increase our effort to regain progress lost in 2020 and get back on track to ending the three pandemics by 2030.
Despite the interruptions caused by COVID-19, both civil society and communities concurred that now more than ever, Governments need to increase their allocations for health and consequently their pledges and contributions to the Global Fund. The 6th Global Fund replenishment had presented an unprecedented and bold ask of USD $14 Billion as the world’s health security needs more funds to prevent future interruptions by pandemics.
Prospects for sustainable health financing in Africa rely heavily on Increased domestic resources for health by governments to enhance resilient health systems and invest in health research development and innovation while working with government, the civil society and communities. Countries were strongly encouraged to strengthen attention to sustainability in their national planning and program design with support from the Global Fund and partners as necessary.
Some of the major discussion points in the meeting were: How Global Fund can better work with communities and civil society organizations, how different stakeholders such as policy makers and young people can participate and be engaged in 7th replenishment advocacy to ensure a successful replenishment. These key messages, strategies and tactics developed would be used in the lead up to the replenishment conference.
The discussions also highlighted the need for countries to honor pledges. Amongst the issues concluded were, strategies on how to encourage countries that pledge, and honor their pledges to continue donating, and advocate for countries that pledge, and have a history of not honoring their pledges to do so.
In the Lead up to the Global Fund 7th Replenishment, communities and civil society proudly and loudly stand boldly with the Global Fund in asking for USD $18 Billion to fast track the fight to end HIV, TB and Malaria in the context of COVID-19 and future pandemics.
Written by Elizabeth Wangui & WACI Health