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 Southern 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.