Mali and the Global Fund Launch New Grants to Continue the Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria and Strengthen Health Systems

15 March 2024

BAMAKO — The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), the government of Mali, ARCAD Santé PLUS and Plan International Mali have signed three new grants worth €102 million. The new grants will support the fight against AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) while strengthening health systems over the 2024-2026 period. The malaria grant – for an anticipated maximum amount of €85 million – is currently being drafted and will be signed by the end of the year.

Two joint grants for HIV and TB will be used to treat up to 96,600 people by 2026 and to prevent significant numbers of new HIV infections, including mother-to-child transmission. Testing coverage and viral load suppression will be improved and maintained to maximize the impact. The grants will also be used to augment TB treatment coverage and success rates by focusing on pediatric HIV and TB care. There will also be a focus on decentralized care for drug‑resistant TB from 2023 to 2025. In addition, the new grants will make it possible to scale up prevention activities that target key and vulnerable populations and to strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations.

The third grant will support key health system functions, including community health; laboratories; the supply chain; the health information system and human resources, including community health workers.

These new grants are in addition to the €53 million earmarked for the Global Fund's COVID‑19 Response Mechanism, which is meant to support health systems strengthening and pandemic preparedness in Mali until 2025. This funding includes investments in community systems and community health workers, health product storage capacity, laboratories, community‑based surveillance and medical oxygen.

The three main grantees, namely Mali’s Ministry of Health, the national civil society organization known as ARCAD Santé PLUS and the international nongovernmental organization Plan International Mali, together with the regional health directorates, will use a decentralized approach to implementing the grants with the support and commitment of the communities hardest hit by the three diseases.

Dr. Colonel Assa Badiallo Touré, Mali’s minister of health and social development, said, “The strong partnership between Mali and the Global Fund has been a driving force in supporting the resilience of Mali’s health system, as well as the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the country. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to achieve the ambitious goals set for the new grants and, ultimately, to improve the health of the people of Mali.”

“This new funding cycle shows that Mali and the Global Fund are committed to serving the people of Mali in terms of access to primary health care, while addressing the challenges posed by the security situation,” said Saran Fadiga‑Branchi, senior fund portfolio manager for Mali at the Global Fund.

As access to health care services in the central and northern regions of Mali is still limited, due to the security situation, humanitarian nongovernmental organizations will help provide primary health care and services aimed at fighting HIV, TB and malaria to hard‑to‑reach populations, including displaced persons.

“The Global Fund partnership is committed to supporting the fight against HIV, TB and malaria in Mali through a decentralized and integrated approach to health care and by strengthening health and community systems,” said the Global Fund’s Sonia Florisse, who for six years was the senior fund portfolio manager for Mali. “That is our joint commitment to the people of Mali.”

In spite of the difficulties that health systems in Mali face due to conflict and the security situation, progress has been made in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria over the past decade.

Mali, which is the eighth-largest country in Africa, has made progress in the fight against HIV: The number of new infections fell by 24% between 2010 and 2022, while AIDS‑related deaths decreased by 16% during the same period. But despite the downward trend in HIV incidence and AIDS-related mortality, persistent problems and significant health system constraints are preventing the achievement of rapid outcomes throughout the 95‑95‑95 cascade of HIV testing and treatment.

The country has also reduced the number of deaths due to TB and has also achieved significant increases in TB treatment coverage and success rates. In 2022, treatment coverage had risen to 71% and the treatment success rate had increased to 82%.

Compared with 10 years ago, a higher percentage of people in Mali now have access to and make use of long‑lasting insecticidal mosquito nets. In 2022, 5.3 million people suspected of having malaria were given a parasitological test, and 99% of confirmed malaria cases were treated.