Global Fund report shows why leaders must commit to faster progress on TB
Washington D.C. (Sept. 12) - The Global Fund Results Report 2018, released today, demonstrates the remarkable successes that can be achieved when governments, the private sector, civil society, and affected communities work together to tackle some of society’s most intractable problems.
Emerging out of global consensus in the late 1990s to dramatically scale up the response to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria, which had devastated many poor countries, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), has since saved more than 27 million lives, according to its most recent annual results report.
ACTION celebrates this latest evidence that progress is possible and calls on world leaders to take this knowledge forward and take concrete steps against the world’s leading infectious killer at the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB on September 26, which the Global Fund calls “the cornerstone of what is widely considered a crucial year to accelerate momentum to reach the SDG targets.”
According to the data, the Global Fund, during 2017, pulled together and disbursed to high-impact programs US$4.2 billion in grants, generating $205 million in savings from pooled procurement to reach 17.5 million people with anti-retroviral treatment; performed 79.1 million HIV diagnostic tests; and served 9.4 million people with HIV prevention programs. Malaria treatment reached 108 million people, and 197 million mosquito nets were distributed.
In the case of TB, progress has been impressive — but insufficient. Countries supported by Global Fund grants reached 5 million people with TB treatment; 102,000 people with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB); 3,180 with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB); and 343,000 co-infected with both TB and HIV. Additionally, the Global Fund provided preventive treatment to 97,500 children who were in contact with TB patients.
Despite these impressive gains, the World Health Organization estimates that 4.1 million people with TB are “missing,” meaning they are either undiagnosed or unreported. In these cases, access to and quality of care — if there was care at all — are simply unknown. Furthermore, numbers do not fully describe the qualitative changes in the lives of those who have been rescued from debilitating diseases and from the burden of healthcare costs, but based on the work that we do, we know the positive impact of effective interventions on individuals, families, and communities.
We celebrate these successes knowing that we must not lose sight of the enormity of the work and the opportunities ahead. Ending these diseases requires greater collaboration, more investments, accelerated innovations, and better healthcare delivery backed by sustainable health systems and reliable financing. There are huge gaps in these four areas.
As the Global Fund notes in its report, “progress on the TB epidemic hinges on finding the missing cases. The Global Fund is investing US$115 million in 13 countries that account for 75 percent of missing people with TB globally to find an additional 1.5 million cases by the end of 2019.”
There are key milestones ahead of us to accelerate progress and put the global community on the right track to ending TB. We urge leaders attending the UNHLM to commit to finding and treating the 4.1 million people with TB whose diagnosis, treatment, and care are missed by health systems annually. Next year, the Global Fund will go through a replenishment campaign to support HIV, TB, and malaria programs in affected countries. This will be a critical opportunity to scale up funding for TB and reach the $16.6–18.0 billion needed for the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria over the next three years — one of many steps needed to end the epidemics. The ACTION partnership calls on donors and implementing countries to mobilize the adequate resources and leadership to make to make this 6th replenishment a successful step towards ending the epidemics by 2030.
About ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership
ACTION is a partnership of 13 locally rooted organizations around the world that advocate together to build political will and increase investments for global health. Our partners: Æquitas (India), CITAMplus (Zambia), Global Health Advocates France, Global Health Advocates India, Health Promotion Tanzania, KANCO (Kenya), Princess of Africa Foundation (South Africa), RESULTS International Australia, RESULTS Canada, RESULTS Educational Fund (U.S.), RESULTS Japan, RESULTS UK, and WACI Health (Kenya and South Africa). For more information, please visit: www.action.org.