22 May 2007
Berlin - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today announced that more than one million people living with HIV have been reached with life-saving antiretroviral treatment provided through AIDS programs it supports, approximately doubling results reported last year.
The Global Fund also announced major progress in the fight against malaria with programs it supports having distributed around 30 million insecticide treated nets to families with children who are at risk of contracting the disease. Programs battling tuberculosis continue growing, with 2.8 million people treated with effective anti-tuberculosis drugs.
The Global Fund released the latest figures from 450 grants in 136 countries as the G8 heads of state prepare to meet at Heiligendamm, Germany on 6-8 June. The Global Fund was created in 2002 to rapidly accelerate the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria, following G8 commitments at summits in Okinawa in 2000 and Genoa in 2001.
"The Global Fund supports programs that save 3,000 lives every day, 1.8 million so far. As Chancellor Merkel and the other G8 leaders consider their past commitments on global health and Africa, I hope they can be inspired by the Global Fund's success to pursue health targets they have set, including cutting malaria and tuberculosis rates in half, and getting AIDS treatment, prevention and care to all who need them," said Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Dr Kazatchkine stressed that while the financing comes from the Global Fund, these results were the fruits of the hard work of thousands of health workers in developing countries, and considerable efforts by partners, such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, the Roll Back Malaria and Stop TB Partnerships, as well as technical assistance by bilateral organizations like the German GTZ.
|Increase over one year
People on ARV treatment
|1 - 1.1 million
Cases treated under DOTS
The AIDS treatment figures are preliminary. More detailed results will be published in the coming weeks after a full cross-validation of figures with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Together, the Global Fund and PEPFAR provide international funding for the majority of AIDS treatment programs worldwide.
While programs that deliver treatment with antiretroviral drugs against AIDS continue to show strong growth, the most impressive performance over the past few months has been in prevention activities in the fight against malaria, with a 165-percent increase in the number of insecticide-treated bed nets distributed in the last year.
"The need to invest in planning, infrastructure, and procurement systems for national malaria programs in many countries led to initial concerns about delays and lack of effectiveness," says Bernhard Schwartlander, Director for Performance Evaluation and Policy at the Global Fund. "These results show that the early investments now are paying off and we can expect malaria results to continue to grow quickly."
In countries where effective malaria programs have been put in place over the past few years, child mortality has dropped drastically; in some cases by as much as 50 percent.
"Through effective in-country management of our grants and strong partnerships, Global Fund supported programs can help contribute to attaining the UN Millennium Development Goal to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria and reach the G8 goal of getting HIV/AIDS medication to everyone who needs it by 2010," said Rajat Gupta, Chair of the Board of the Global Fund. "Additional resources are needed, however, if we want to scale-up the fight against the three diseases. With new commitments from the G8 and other donors, we will be able to reach these goals."
Last month, the Board of the Global Fund set a target of tripling annual contributions to the Global Fund to US$ 6 billion per year by 2010. Further increased demand from developing countries for Global Fund financing could potentially raise this figure to $8 billion.
Germany is a strong supporter of the Global Fund, and is hosting a conference in Berlin in September where donors will meet to secure initial pledges of funding for the period 2008 - 2010. Eighty percent of the Global Fund's resources have come from G8 countries. While these countries are expected to provide a dominant share of the Global Fund's resource needs, the replenishment conference in Berlin is also expected to draw pledges from new donor countries.
So far, the Global Fund has approved 450 grants in 136 countries, with a total commitment of US$ 7.6 billion.