AIDS Healthcare Foundation – Nigeria in collaboration with Civil Society organizations on Monday the 16th of May, urged Germany, Japan and China to up their contributions to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The call was made at the official launch of the Fund The Fund campaign; a global initiative spearheaded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, ahead of the 5th Global Fund replenishment exercise in September, 2016.
Dr. Adetayo Towolawi ( Country Program Manager, AHF Nigeria) , while acknowledging the gains of GF since inception, called on donor countries to commit to fully funding the Global Fund, whose target is $13 Billion for the 2017-2019 grant cycle, . “if the decline in funding continues, these impressive achievements might be endangered, and we could lose billions of dollars, and more importantly, millions of lives. The health of millions of our global citizens should not, and will not be ignored”.
On the issue of accountability and effective utilization of grants , Mr. Steve Aborisade of ProjektHope , stressed the need for government to put in place stringent mechanisms in to ensure donor funds are utilized efficiently, and to check misappropriation and fraud. Civil society organizations were also charged to actively exercise their roles as “watchdogs” in grant implementation. This is coming on the heels of the recently released GF OIG report which indicted some Nigerian agencies for misappropriation.
If AIDS funding continues to decline and HIV treatment and services are not scaled up rapidly by 2020, it could result in 21 million deaths and an additional 28 million people becoming infected with HIV by 2030. If this were to happen, the world would have to pay an additional $24 billion every year for antiretroviral therapy by 2030. On the other hand, a timely scale-up of funding for AIDS, TB and malaria would yield a 15-fold return on investment.
Impact of Global Fund
Since inception in 2002 The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) has saved more than 17 million lives. Over 470 million people have been tested for HIV and about 8.6 million people are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV. Sixteen million people with HIV-TB co-infection have been treated and nearly 3.3 million mothers have received treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies, while 560 million people with malaria have been treated.
The Global Fund program started in Nigeria in 2003, up to date Nigeria has been awarded $1.43 billion which has been instrumental in providing HIV care and treatment to 750,000 people, Provided TB treatment to 310,000 and provided 93.4 Million Mosquito nets. Nigeria currently represents the Global Fund’s largest portfolio with a total of $1.1 billion allocated to fighting the three diseases for 2014-2016.
Photo credit : AHF Nigeria