Board of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria has committed to sustaining the fight against the diseases amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
Executive Director of the Global Fund Peter Sands emphasised the need to increase funding and expand the response to the pandemic, reinforce systems for health, and get back on track to end HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics by 2030.
Sands said this during the board’s 44th meeting, which was held virtually.
Global Fund is a founding partner of the Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator, a global collaboration of organisations and governments working to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.
‘At the moment, Covid-19 is killing roughly the same number of people every week as HIV, TB and malaria combined’, said Sands in his opening address to the board.
‘We did, I think, avert the immediate worst-case scenario of impact on HIV, TB and malaria. But we should have no illusions: there has been a significant impact, and over time the failure to contain Covid-19, and its financial and economic consequences, will further erode our ability to fight the three diseases.
‘There is no scenario that we make the progress we want against HIV, TB and malaria while COVID-19 is unchecked’.
Chairman of the board, Dr Donald Kaberuka, also stressed the need for the next strategy to focus on how to step up efforts to get back on track to ending HIV, TB and malaria by 2030.
He said, ‘In a context of economic downturn and challenges for health financing, it is all the more important to leverage the Global Fund catalytic role and make sure that our future strategy addresses key challenges including in incidence reduction across the three diseases while building on the many lessons from the Covid-19 response’.
Source: The New Dawn Liberia
Photo source: NCDC