Global Fund Reaffirms Indian Innovations Can Save Millions Around the World

30 August 2023

New Delhi – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria announced the successful conclusion of the first summit focused on their strategic partnership with India. The event brought together public health actors from the government of India, private sector leaders and experts from around the world to reflect on the unique opportunity that India has to fight HIV, tuberculosis (TB), malaria and other deadly diseases on the global stage. The Global Fund commends the government of India and the Indian private sector for their extraordinary advances in fighting infectious diseases and aims to help expand Indian solutions on a global scale.

Emphasizing the Global Fund's partnership with India, Lady Roslyn Morauta, Chair of the Global Fund Board, said: “Amid vibrant discussions at the G20 Health Ministers Meeting, India's G20 leadership has been exemplary. Our partnership with India, through grants to government and non-governmental organizations that directly support the national programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, reflects our commitment as a strategic partner to end these three infectious diseases for good. Our investments in India are multi-faceted, as we not only provide grant funds, but we also procure hundreds of millions of dollars-worth of health products manufactured in India each year. As the world’s largest multilateral provider of grants to build resilient and sustainable systems for health, we have saved over 50 million lives since the inception of our partnership. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have invested an additional US$5 billion to fight the new pandemic and reinforce systems for health.”

India’s role on the global health stage

The Global Fund-India Summit 2023, coming on the heels of the G20 Health Ministers Meeting from August 18-19 in Gujarat, served as a platform for discussions, knowledge sharing and strategic planning with the goal to scale Indian health care solutions globally, particularly those related to health products, digital health and TB.

“I am honored to address the Global Fund-India Summit 2023, where we underscore the G20's unifying influence, bridging G7 and developing nations for global advancement,” said Shri Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, government of India. “This platform, which facilitates collaborative strides, also commends Lady Rosalyn Morauta's leadership and marks India's inaugural global summit. Our commitment is undeniable: ending tuberculosis by 2025 and rallying our entire population against AIDS and HIV. As the world's leading pharmacy, India furnishes affordable medicines to over 20% of the global population. Amid the pandemic, India supplied 2.2 billion vaccines, reinforcing our steadfast dedication to accessible health care. Our pioneering digital infrastructure fosters connectivity and innovation. Let us march forward united, armed with innovative solutions, to carve a healthier, more resilient global future.”

India is an essential source of quality health products – including lifesaving HIV medicines known as antiretroviral drugs, mosquito nets and diagnostic kits for all three diseases – for international procurers and national health care authorities around the world. In its efforts to end AIDS, TB and malaria and strengthen health systems, the Global Fund procures health products from manufacturers in India valued at an estimated US$600 million annually. India can build on the scale and capacity of its pharmaceutical industry and deliver product innovations while driving closer South-South collaboration. India’s expertise in digital inclusion, public health, pharmaceuticals and sustainable growth can bridge the gap, uniting developing and developed economies.

Speaking about India's role in global health, C.K. Mishra, Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, said: “India's significance in global health is fortified through innovation and private-sector collaborations. With the private sector catering to 60% of patients, India's self-funded approach drives missions. India shares the global aspiration of ending malaria, TB and HIV. Our successful TB mission displays efficient implementation. Transitioning to molecular TB testing is crucial. India's responsibility extends to global disease eradication. Amidst communicable and non-communicable burdens, our four pillars include smarter funding, precise targeting, innovative products and technology.”

Celebrating achievements while looking ahead

Event participants celebrated the significant progress India has made in recent years in the fight against TB, noting Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extraordinary leadership in setting 2025 as India’s goal to end TB – a full five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goal target.

Highlighting India's G20 leadership, Nilaya Varma, CEO & Co-Founder, Primus Partners Pvt. Ltd., said: “India's G20 leadership, followed by Brazil and South Africa, is amplifying the voice of the Global South. With over 50% of global growth nurtured here, we stand at the forefront of progress. Let's unlock new horizons through technology and innovation. The Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) is a great outcome that allows cross-national platform-sharing. Going forward, personalized care and creating incentives for collaboration will be critical for health to drive equity! Very happy to get an opportunity to speak at the Global Fund–India Summit.”

Participants highlighted India’s innovative approaches to TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment. They discussed ways that the Global Fund and other stakeholders can accelerate broader deployment of these solutions across low- and middle-income countries.

But progress is fragile and threatened by looming challenges: the risk of emerging pandemic threats, the impact of climate change on health, the need to scale up interoperable and open-source digital health solutions, and the need for sustained political commitment. India has served as an important example in meeting these challenges. The country’s leadership throughout its G20 presidency in 2023 has led to significant progress toward universal health coverage, ensuring swift and equitable access to innovative pandemic medical countermeasures and digital technologies. Participants emphasized the importance of adapting strategies to address infectious diseases while remaining dedicated to upholding human rights and promoting health equity.

“These sessions have illuminated a clear path toward a more inclusive and responsive health care landscape,” said Mark Edington, Head of Grant Management at the Global Fund. “By embracing collaboration, innovation and equity, we are better equipped to effectively tackle global health challenges. The potential of digital transformations to revolutionize health care delivery, bridge gaps, and ensure access to quality services for all cannot be overstated. By aligning our efforts and embracing innovation, we can foster a brighter future for global health care.”

As the event concluded, participants renewed their commitment to accelerating the end of AIDS, TB and malaria. Collaborative efforts, innovative solutions and robust investments were identified as pivotal components in achieving this shared vision. The Global Fund reiterates their dedication to working with the government of India, the private sector, additional partners and communities to transform commitments into impactful actions that will shape a healthier and more equitable future for all.