“Millions of lives are saved today in developing countries because of bold, innovative financing arrangements over last 10 years. These financing mechanisms are good examples of private sector partnership with public sector for common good,” Taufiqur Rahman, an international health consultant, writes in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” He describes several examples, including the GAVI Alliance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the International Finance Facility for Immunization (IFFIm), UNITAID, Clinton Foundation efforts, and the patent pools, Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Pool for Open Innovation. Rahman concludes, “Our efforts must be to support and expand these innovative financing mechanisms and promote innovation for efficient pricing arrangements. At the same time, we must ensure that these financing mechanisms remain lean, efficient, and transparent” (1/4).
“On Thursday (Dec. 14), [Nigeria] signed five grant agreements with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” with some of the money going “to provide for antiretroviral therapy treatment and prevention services, particularly on mother-to-child HIV transmission,” Devex’s “The Development Newswire” blog reports. Of the total $335 million, $265 million will go toward HIV/AIDS activities, while $70 million will be used for TB initiatives, the blog notes (Ravelo, 12/14). “For Nigeria, [the] grant agreements address a tremendous need: Nigeria has the second highest number of people living with HIV in the world and only 30 percent of people requiring HIV treatment are receiving antiretroviral therapy,” a Global Fund press release states (12/13).
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on Friday published Issue 206 of its “Global Fund Observer.” Among other articles, the issue features an article on an Aidspan analysis of pledges and contributions to the Global Fund; an article examining a Global Fund Board decision to request the Indian government provide more funding for antiretroviral treatment as a condition of grant renewal; and a commentary on gender transformative programs and the Global Fund (12/7).
IRIN reports on the HIV/AIDS response in Guinea-Bissau, writing, “One year after the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reduced funding to the Guinea-Bissau government body in charge of coordinating HIV prevention and treatment activities, health centers outside the capital are facing medicine shortages, patients are not receiving the treatment they need, and the transport of patients to treatment centers has been cut.” According to the news service, “The Global Fund stopped most of its funding to the Secretriado National de Luta Contra le Sida (SNLS), the government structure in charge of coordinating the HIV response, at the end of 2011, because of poor performance management and a lack of transparent fiduciary controls.”
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, on Friday published Issue 205 of its “Global Fund Observer.” Among other articles, the issue features an article on the appointment of an interim inspector general; an article summarizing the Global Fund’s year-end estimates on outcome and results; and an article on how the PEPFAR Blueprint highlights areas of cooperation with the Global Fund (12/7).
“[W]e are losing the global fight against bad medicines,” and though “[s]ome progress is being made,” the “problem is that … crackdowns tend to focus on counterfeit drugs” while a “much bigger public health problem … is substandard drugs that are the result of shoddy manufacturing and handling — or perhaps worse, deliberate corner-cutting,” Roger Bate, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in an opinion piece in The Hill’s “Congress Blog.” He continues, “In poor countries, a frightfully high number of bad drugs reach patients through legitimate supply chains and even donor programs underwritten by U.S. and European taxpayers,” increasing the risk of harm to patients and the development of drug-resistant disease strains.
“Norbert Hauser has been named interim inspector general of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” reports, adding, “The recently retired lawyer and international auditor will serve in this temporary appointment for up to nine months while the Global Fund searches for a permanent inspector general to replace John Parsons,” whose employment was terminated last month (Mungcal, 12/5). “Hauser will not be a candidate for the permanent position,” a Global Fund press release notes, adding, “Rather, he will maintain consistency in the work of the Office of the Inspector General, with a focus on providing seamless leadership and strategic guidance to staff of the Office of the Inspector General during his interim tenure” (12/5).
Noting that the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report shows “that access to care and treatment for tuberculosis [TB] has expanded substantially in the past two decades,” Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, writes in an AlertNet opinion piece, “Not only is this good news for those countries that are most vulnerable to tuberculosis; it is also good news for the global community,” as TB can be passed through the air. Derrick describes some of the interventions against TB instituted internationally, and she notes the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria “is the largest global donor to tuberculosis programs, providing 82 percent of international funding to fight the disease,” as well as “91 percent of international financing” to fight multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
The Skoll World Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog have co-produced a blog series to answer the question, “What will it really take to end AIDS?” In the first of six posts, Steffano Bertozi, director of HIV in the Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program, writes, “[D]espite evidence of measurable progress, it’s important to recognize that we still don’t have all of the tools that we need to end AIDS,” therefore “we still have an essential moral obligation to discover, develop and deliver new and better ways to help people protect themselves from HIV infection” (12/3). In another post, Erin Hohlfelder, ONE’s policy manager for health, says with “scaled-up financing, targeted programming, and expanded political will,” as well as “renewed urgency and concerted action, the world can transform the beginning of the end of AIDS from a vision to a reality and chart a course towards ending this pandemic” (12/3).
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has signed a new grant agreement [with Tanzania] worth $308 million,” Devex’s “Development Newswire” reports. “The grant, signed Dec. 1, will help provide more than 660,000 Tanzanians access to antiretrovirals, HIV testing and counseling, and other health products for the next three years, according to a press release” from the Global Fund, the news service writes (Ravelo, 12/3). The press release states, “The grant will also allow the country to reach 96 percent of pregnant women with HIV testing and counseling, providing treatment for over 346,000 HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent HIV transmission to their babies by 2015.” The press release adds, “These results are being achieved through close collaboration with Tanzanian partners as well as with the U.S. Government’s PEPFAR program and other donors such as Germany through its bilateral cooperation” (12/1).