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Posts Tagged ‘The Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria’

Switzerland: The fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis

Posted by African Press International on December 15, 2013

Switzerland steps up its commitment to the fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis


BERN, Switzerland, December 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The Federal Council has approved a contribution of CHF 60 million for the 2014-2016 period for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM). Switzerland was one of the founders of the Geneva-based fund in 2002 and has been one of its key partners since the beginning. Malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis remain the leading causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa. These three diseases are among the most important factors hampering development.


Three diseases – malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis – are among the most frequent causes of death worldwide, and especially in Africa. Malaria remains the leading parasitic disease worldwide. In 99 countries, approximately 219 million new cases are registered every year. About half of the world’s population lives in areas affected by malaria. The WHO estimates that in countries in Africa with endemic malaria the disease lowers economic growth by 1.3 percentage points per year.


Some 2.5 million people are still becoming newly infected with HIV every year and more than 1.7 million people die of AIDS-related illnesses every year worldwide. In the case of tuberculosis, the estimated number of annual deaths is 1.4 million. HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis frequently occur in combination, making them very difficult to treat in developing countries.


Nevertheless, considerable progress has been made in the fight against these three diseases over the past ten years. For example, new HIV infections declined by 33% worldwide, and by more than 50% among children in medium-income countries. Some 8 million people in Africa are currently receiving antiretroviral therapy – a twenty-fold increase from 2003. Significant progress has also been made in the fight against tuberculosis: the TB mortality rate has fallen by approximately 41% since 1990. The UN’s millennium development goal of stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases by 2015 and gradually reversing their incidence is thus within reach.


The fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis is a high priority for international development cooperation as well as for Switzerland. The significant progress achieved so far can no doubt be attributed amongst others to the efforts of GFATM, which is the biggest backer in the fight against these three diseases.



Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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Norway: Government to step up global health efforts

Posted by African Press International on October 19, 2013

The GAVI Alliance (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will together receive an additional NOK 330 million in the national budget for 2014. The Government wishes to intensify its efforts to promote child and maternal health globally, to fight deadly diseases and to help to eradicate polio.

“Six million fewer children died in 2012 than in 1990. Deaths from malaria have fallen by 25 % since 2000. Deaths from tuberculosis have fallen by more than 40 % since 1990. And deaths from AIDS fell by 30 % from 2005 to 2012 alone. This shows that the global health effort is producing results. But much remains to be done,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.
Polio is in the process of being eradicated. Norway is increasing its support to this work by more than fourfold, with a total allocation of NOK 240 million for 2014. These funds will be administered mainly by the GAVI Alliance, but also by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“There is a close link between the use of resources and the results achieved. The money is reaching those for whom it is intended, and is being used effectively. This is why we are increasing our support, knowing  that this work is benefiting women and children, as well as men, all over the world,” said Mr Eide.
The fight against the major deadly diseases AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is being intensified. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will receive an additional NOK 50 million. It is planned that this funding should be increased by a further NOK 100 million in 2015. Altogether it is proposed that NOK 1.7 billion should be allocated to the Global Fund for the period 2014–16.
Norway’s allocation to the GAVI Alliance is to be increased by NOK 100 million. So far 370 million children have been vaccinated through GAVI-supported programmes, and the aim is to reach many more. Norway’s contribution now totals more than NOK 1 billion per year.
“The increase in this year’s budget shows that Norway is shouldering its part of the responsibility for bringing the world closer to achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” said Mr Eide.
In total, Norway now spends more than NOK 4 billion of its international development budget on global health. Norway intends to increase focus on universal health coverage. It is the responsibility of individual countries to provide basic health services to their populations, while the role of the international community must be to provide support for national efforts under national ownership.



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HIV test kits – shortage in Uganda because demand outpaces supply

Posted by African Press International on June 14, 2013

Demand outpaces supply (file photo)

KAMPALA, – Uganda has run out of most antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), HIV testing kits, drugs to treat opportunistic infections and several crucial diagnostic tools for HIV care, according to a recent Ministry of Health stock status report.

The report, posted by the ministry on 27 May, listed the status of medical supplies as of 1 May. It reported that central stocks of a number of first- and second-line ARVs, paediatric ARV formulations and HIV test kits were either out or below the minimum stock levels in country’s three government warehouses – National Medical Stores (NMS), Joint Medical Stores (JMS) and Medical Access Uganda Limited (MAUL).

The report noted that the antifungal drug Fluconazole, used to fight opportunistic infections in people living with HIV, was out of stock at all three warehouses, while laboratory commodities for haematology, clinical chemistry and assessing CD4 counts – a measure of immune strength – were also running dangerously low. In addition, stocks of “nearly all first-line TB [tuberculosis] drugs” were low.

The ministry noted that a number for of requests had been sent to partners – including the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – to boost stocks.

Ruth Aceng, the director general of health services at the Ministry of Health, told IRIN the countrywide ARV shortage was result of government’s move to increase the number of ARV-accredited sites, on national, district and county level, to improve access to HIV treatment. The government has recently expanded its prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission programme, and it is also running a voluntary medical male circumcision programme and a provider-initiated HIV testing programme, all of which have contributed to increases in the demand for tests and treatment.

Demand outpacing supply

As of 2012, some 62 percent of those needing HIV treatment in Uganda were on ARVs, up from 50 percent in 2010; that figure is expected to rise again in 2013.

“It’s true we have an ARV shortage in the country. We made a deliberate effort to get everybody who was eligible for ARVs to be enrolled. The deliberate, ambitious expansion and the scale-up has brought the current stock-outs we are experiencing,” Aceng, told IRIN. “Instead of enrolling 100,000 people annually, we decided to put all 190,000 who were eligible for treatment this year. This was a little ambitious plan for us.”

“We are working around the clock with our partners to normalize the situation. We expect the drugs to arrive in the country in the next two weeks or so,” she added.

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) working to increase access to ARVs, TB drugs and other essential medicines said in an 11 June statement that 24 districts had reported stock-outs of HIV test kits. Health officials now fear the stock-outs will lead to drug resistance, illness and death.

“We call upon the members of the country coordinating mechanism to help expedite the process of procurement of the testing kits and other essential commodities through the Global Fund HIV Grant,” the CSOs said. “We also urgently call upon the Ministry of Health, NMS, relevant offices in the local governments and [officials] in charge of the affected health facilities to ensure that clients obtain drugs and testing services.”

“A big number of patients in the district have been affected [by] the current ARVs stock-outs. The patients can’t refill their monthly stock because the drugs are not there. This is going to cause adherence issue[s] and create drug resistance, which is very dangerous,” Janet Oola, health officer for northern Uganda’s Nwoya District, told IRIN.

Persistent supply-chain issues

John Anguzu, health officer for the northeastern district of Nakapiripirit, said he had been forced to borrow drugs from neighbouring Moroto District to fill his patients’ ARV prescriptions.

“This crisis is particularly concerning given Uganda’s rising rates of HIV incidence, unique among East and Southern African countries,” said the CSOs’ statement.

Uganda’s HIV prevalence rose from 6.4 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2012, a sign that the country’s once-successful HIV prevention programme is faltering.

The current shortage is only the latest in a list of supply-chain problems that have caused similar stock-outs of drugs and condoms in the past. Activists say continued mismanagement of the distribution chain is harming the country’s HIV response.

“The Ministry of Health exactly knows the number of people on ARVs. I wonder what is difficult with them to focus and make the right quantifications of the drugs,” Oola said. “The ministry should also have buffer stock for emergencies.”

“We are tired of this preventable crisis. It’s time for [the] government to guarantee that stock-outs will be a thing of the past,” said Margaret Happy, the advocacy manager for the National Forum of People Living with HIV/AIDS Networks in Uganda (NAFOPHANU).

so/kr/rz  source


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