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A Year in Review: 2023

This year the Global Fund continued to deliver lifesaving services for people affected by HIV, TB and malaria – thanks to the unwavering commitment of communities, governments and partners.

Our partnership came together to confront colliding crises including climate change, conflict, deepening inequities within and between countries and an erosion of human rights.

We look back at 2023 through the most powerful people and stories that shape our fight to end the deadliest infectious diseases and build a healthier and more equitable world for all.

January – Community Health Workers Prepare for Future Health Threats

In countries where the Global Fund invests, there are about 2 million community health workers on the front lines of the fight against deadly diseases and helping communities prepare for future health threats. At the beginning of the year, we met Neema, a community health worker in Tanzania who is a key pillar of her country’s health system. Neema supports 178 households to tackle malaria, while also helping pregnant mothers deliver their babies safely, advising families on healthy nutrition and educating her community on how to prevent sexually transmitted infections. The Global Fund continues to call for Community Health Workers like Neema to be adequately paid, trained and integrated into formal health systems.

February – The Heroes Behind the World’s Largest Mosquito Net Distribution Campaign

Nigeria has the highest burden of malaria in the world. The Global Fund is fighting back against malaria in the country, including through one of the world’s largest and most complex campaigns to ensure everyone sleeps under the protection of an insecticide-treated mosquito net. In Kano State, one of Nigeria’s most populous states, 8.8 million nets were delivered to more than 18 million people in a two-week campaign, thanks to the efforts of thousands of people dedicated to the cause.

March – We Have the Tools to Turbocharge the Fight Against Tuberculosis

There is an incredible arsenal of resources that exist in the fight against TB – from the newest diagnostic technology to innovative treatments for adults and children. But too often, people most at risk can’t access these tools to protect themselves or get timely treatment. On World TB Day and in the lead up to the United Nations High-level Meeting on the Fight Against TB we called on world leaders to accelerate the deployment of innovations to reach people most in need and redouble efforts to end the deep-rooted inequalities that fuel the disease.

April – In Pakistan, the Global Fund Responds to an Unprecedented Surge in Malaria After Deadly Flooding

It was a severe heat wave followed by heavier-than-usual monsoon rains and melting Himalayan glaciers caused by climate change that led to Pakistan’s unprecedented floods – and then a massive surge in malaria cases. The Global Fund responded rapidly, including by supporting community-based malaria testing and treatment for people most affected by the emergency. In April we met Fazila, a community midwife, who despite losing her home and nearly all of her possessions in the flooding, was still working to protect her community from malaria on a Global Fund supported mobile clinic.

May – A Stark Warning:  Malaria Could be the Next Global Pandemic Due to Climate Change

Our Executive Director Peter Sands sent a stark warning this past May – that for diseases like malaria, global warming is like pouring gasoline on a fire. In an op-ed originally published in Forbes, he also shared that with more money and by speeding up the introduction of the latest innovations in vector control, diagnosis and treatment, malaria cases could be reduced, and millions of deaths prevented.

June – It’s Time to Overcome Gender Inequality in the Fight Against HIV

Shani Ally lives in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and has been on HIV treatment for more than 20 years. Today, Shani and her family live a life free from the fear of AIDS. But not everyone has that chance, wrote Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands in his opinion piece, first published in Forbes.

July - Innocent Reminds Us to Prioritize Children in the Fight Against HIV

Shortly after losing his father at 6-years-old and testing positive for HIV, Innocent was connected to one of southern Africa’s leading pediatric HIV centers, where he received the care and support he needed and has since gone on to thrive in life. Today he is a successful young man helping others. But Innocent’s story is far too rare. Globally, a child dies from an AIDS-related cause every 5 minutes.

August - Digital Health Solutions Help Transform Community Health in Burkina Faso

Technology is transforming the work of Marc Ilboudo and his fellow community health workers. This includes equipping them with digital tools to improve how they do consultations and deliver care to their patients while digitizing data they collect so that it can be easily shared for improved disease surveillance and response. The Global Fund is supporting Burkina Faso’s roadmap to digitize community health care with the aim of strengthening health systems and fighting disease – including in remote, hard to reach communities.

September – Celebrating 59 Million Lives Saved Since 2002

The 2023 Results Report detailed a year of rapid acceleration in the Global Fund partnership’s fight against HIV, TB and malaria. Programs to tackle the three diseases registered a solid recovery after being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2002, the Global Fund partnership has saved 59 million lives, but efforts must be accelerated to meet the 2030 targets of ending the diseases by 2030.

October – Wastewater Used for Early Disease Detection in Mozambique

Wastewater testing is used to determine whether a virus or bacteria is spreading in a community so decision makers can act fast and prevent widescale outbreaks. In October, we met Dr. Diocreciano Matias Bero, who leads the Wastewater Environmental Monitoring Program at Mozambique’s National Institute of Health. Dr. Bero and his team showed us how wastewater testing is being used to prevent widescale disease outbreaks in Mozambique’s capital city, Maputo. With the support of the Global Fund, the testing program is expanding to 15 additional sites, so the country is better prepared to respond to future pandemics and health emergencies.

November – Rithy Is a Grandmother and Outreach Worker at the Heart of Cambodia’s HIV Response

In the run-up to World AIDS Day, we met Rithy, a woman on a mission to end HIV in Cambodia. At 55, she has been supporting female sex workers access HIV prevention, treatment and care for over 20 years. With support from the Global Fund, Rithy distributes condoms, conducts dual HIV/syphilis rapid tests, provides information on HIV prevention, including on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and brings women to clinics for further treatment and follow-up.

December – The Fight Against Deadly Disease Must Align with the Global Response to Climate Change

Climate change is the largest global health challenge of the 21st century and represents a profound threat to the Global Fund’s mission to defeat HIV, TB and malaria. In December, we joined forces with partners to advocate for action to tackle the impact climate change has on the health of the most vulnerable communities at the COP28 United Nations Climate Summit.

Find out more about climate change and health