The COVID-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic impact on the most vulnerable communities around the world and threatens to roll-back progress against HIV, TB and malaria. As a global community, we must #UniteToFight them all. The Global Fund is providing guidance, tools and immediate funding of more than US$1 billion to help countries fight COVID-19, mitigate the impacts on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs, and prevent fragile health systems from being overwhelmed.
The stakes are extraordinarily high. In 2018, deaths from HIV, TB and malaria together amounted to 2.4 million people worldwide – roughly half the death toll of the peak of the epidemics, but still a shocking figure. Analyses from WHO, UNAIDS, the Stop TB Partnership and others suggest this annual death toll across the three diseases could nearly double in the next year, wiping out years of progress, if we do not act decisively.
The fights against COVID-19, HIV, TB and malaria are one and the same. We must #UniteToFight them all.
The Global Fund is a founding partner of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), the world's largest coalition of organizations and governments to accelerate development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tools.
The Global Fund is a co-convener of both the Diagnostics and Health Systems Connector. We are also leading work on procurement and deployment in Therapeutics.
The Global Fund reacted decisively to the emergence of COVID-19, quickly making available more than US$1 billion to support countries as they respond to the pandemic, adapt their HIV, TB and malaria programs, and reinforce their already overstretched health systems. Our immediate response comprised the COVID-19 Response Mechanism and grant flexibilities. However, an additional US$5 billion is urgently needed.
Given its role as the world’s largest multilateral investor in grants for health systems and its focus on fighting infectious diseases and strengthening health systems, the Global Fund is uniquely positioned to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the knock-on impact on HIV, TB and malaria. In alignment with WHO’s overall leadership and coordination of the global COVID-19 response, the Global Fund’s has adopted a four-pronged response to the pandemic:
The people who #UniteToFight at the frontline are profiles in resilience and courage. The stories that follow provide intimate insight into their communities and everyday lives during the pandemic.
For Rosemary Wanjiru, a community health volunteer in Nairobi’s Soweto Village, fighting TB in the time of COVID-19 has meant making impossible choices. She walks the narrow alleyways in her neighborhood, offering lifesaving treatment and education to people even though it puts her and her family at risk. Yet her passion for saving lives remains undimmed. Rosemary's story
Both HIV and COVID-19 expose sharp inequities in society and barriers that the most marginalized communities face exercising their right to health care. But these seemingly insurmountable hurdles haven’t held Kiki back from working and advocating to protect the rights of people in her community. She is the founding president of Positive Vision Cameroon, an organization that works to protect the rights of transgender people, including their right to access health care such as HIV prevention and treatment services. Kiki's story
Follow 24-year-old Grace Ngulube as she takes us through the intimate lives of adolescent girls and young women affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures in Malawi. “Restrictions on movement and school closures – while successful in halting the spread of COVID-19 – contributed considerably to fueling a pandemic of violence against adolescent girls and young women behind closed doors, threatening to reverse decades of progress in the fights against HIV and gender inequality.” Grace's story
Like tens of millions of young people around the world, 17-year-old Melissa’s life was turned upside down when COVID-19 and its lockdown measures hit her town, Umguza Zimbabwe, shutting down her school for six months.
With no internet connection at home, she struggled to keep up with her studies. When her father’s shoe repair business came to an abrupt halt, she had to put herself at risk to help her family survive. Melissa's story
Published 15 December 2020