Fighting HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the shadow of covid-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating the perfect storm of economic, health, and social crises that is threatening to destroy decades of progress in the fight against poverty, inequality, and deadly diseases like HIV, TB, and malaria.
Our report on the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB, and malaria services and systems for health shows that the novel coronavirus has massively disrupted actions in low-and middle-income African and Asian countries in 2020. The stark truth is that we will see more incremental deaths from HIV, TB, and malaria in 2021 as a consequence of the disruption caused by COVID-19 in health systems and mechanisms designed to fight
Through fast action and funding from the Global Fund, governments, and partners, we may have avoided the worst-case scenario so far in low- and middle-income countries. The Global Fund has already provided US$990 million to help countries fight COVID-19 (for tests, treatments, and medical supplies), protect front-line health workers, adapt lifesaving HIV, TB, and malaria programs, and reinforce fragile systems for health. To support the international fight against COVID-19, we are leveraging our extensive health and community networks, our well-established health procurement and decades of experience fighting infectious diseases.
During this extraordinarily challenging year, L’Initiative played a critical role in ensuring the continuity of lifesaving programs and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in the fight against the three diseases in countries where the Global Fund invests. L’Initiative has proven to be highly flexible and agile in improving
the effectiveness of our grants and supporting countries in their response to COVID-19. With the rapid deployment of technical experts in the field, L’Initiative has helped increase access to and effectively implement the Global Fund supported programs in Africa, Southeast Asia, and in the Caribbean while at the same time strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations and national health responses.
Since its creation ten years ago, L’Initiative has been one of our closest partners in West and Central Africa.
Our partnership remains essential to beat COVID-19, safeguard the progress we collectively achieved, and continue to strengthen health systems to make this world safer for all.
MICHAELL BYRNE, HEAD OF THE TECHNICAL ADVICE & PARTNERSHIPS DEPARTMENT, GLOBAL FUND
Working together is a key component of the elimination of pandemics and the reduction of mortality.
That is the reason why Expertise France, and its German and British counterparts, GIZ/BACKUP Health and the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, as well as the Global Fund have developed a joint initiative to strengthen health systems. The objective: to enhance the impact of the Global Fund’s investments in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, and to contribute to structuring care services by providing technical, programmatic, and operational capacity building to the people working in the health systems of our partner countries.
Training sessions will be implemented with African universities to form a task force dedicated to the issue of health system strengthening for the Global Fund’s next cycle.