News Releases

Carrying the Torch

21 February 2020

Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has been selected as a torchbearer for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay.

Sands joins other global health advocates and leaders who make a team named the Global Fund ― from Okinawa for a relay in Okinawa, Japan, on 2 May 2020. With the relay, the team aims to light the way for a world free from the burden of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The other members of the team include:

  • Maurine Murenga, Executive Director, Lean on Me Foundation, Kenya
  • Jeffry Acaba, Programme Officer, APCASO, Phillipines
  • Erika Castellanos, Director of Programs, Global Action for Trans*Equality (GATE),
  • Noriyuki Ishiyama, Digital and Print Production Officer, Japan Center for International Exchange/Friends of the Global Fund, Japan
  • JOY, TV Personality and Stop TB Volunteer Ambassador, Japan
  • Zolelwa Sifumba, Community Service Medical Officer, St. Andrews Hospital, South Africa
  • Morimitsu Touma, Director, Yaeyama War Malaria Bereaved Family Association, Japan
  • Saw Winn Tun, Malaria Community Worker, Myanmar

The nine delegates from seven countries – most of them affected by HIV, TB or malaria – will carry the torch for everyone involved in the fight to end epidemics. Okinawa has a special connection to the Global Fund. Japan introduced infectious diseases to the agenda of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in 2000, which paved the way for the Global Fund's establishment in 2002. Since then, Japan has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund and is its fifth largest contributor. With Japan’s support, the Global Fund partnership has saved 32 million lives round the world.