Save more lives or risk reversing strides made in health-related Millennium Development Goals. This is Michel Kazatchkine’s pitch to help replenish the coffers of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“[I]t is still too early to say what the outcome of the replenishment efforts will be. The consensus, as expressed at the International AIDS Conference and African Union Summit, is that the Global Fund has proven itself and deserves support. But we are worried that this will not translate into significantly increased contributions from donors,” Kazatchkine writes in a blog published by Ideas for Development .
Donors will meet in October to discuss the fund’s refinancing.
Health is the one area of development where “considerable progress” has been made in the last decade, the Global Fund chief says, with more than 5 million gaining access to antiretroviral treatment. Malaria and tuberculosis mortality rates have also declined, he notes.
“The Global Fund has played a key role in this progress,” Kazatchkine says.
Global Fund-backed programs, he says, are providing antiretroviral treatment to 2.8 million people. The fund’s investments in combating HIV, TB and malaria also contribute to the MDGs on maternal and child health.
“The three diseases are often rooted in poverty and, as such, affect development in general and impact on all eight MDGs,” Kazatchkine says.
To sustain and add to these gains, adequate resources are needed to scale up the fund’s programs. With sufficient financing, the fund, by 2015, can help to reduce HIV deaths and infections, wipe out malaria in malaria-endemic countries, and significantly decrease TB prevalence, among others.
“In contrast, if our commitment wavers, we risk reversing the gains achieved,” Kazatchkine argues. “Without a successful Global Fund replenishment, AIDS, TB and malaria will gain force again and the world will not meet the health-related MDGs.”