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Global Post-COVID Effort Launched to End HIV, TB, Malaria

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The joint initiative will focus on 10 strategic programs to combat the epidemics. 

The World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced a signed agreement that the two organizations would cooperate and finance the implementation of 10 strategic programs that will go toward ending HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The partnership will cover 2021-2023 and focus on the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic, more than ever, reinforces the need to strengthen our partnership to achieve our shared goals of ending the epidemics,” said Dr. Mubashar Sheikh, director at the WHO’s deputy director-general’s office. “This agreement supports countries to develop more effective responses to the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics and build the resilient health systems they need to reach the most vulnerable.”

Almost 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis in 2019, along with a little over 400,000 from malaria. Last year, close to 700,000 people have died of AIDS-related illnesses, according to the WHO.

This won’t be a first for the organizations, which, according to the release, have a history of partnering to provide interventions for these illnesses throughout the world.

“Together, WHO and the Global Fund have proven to be a powerful force that builds on strong in-country support and regional presence, technical leadership and financial resources to strengthen systems for health and accelerate the end of AIDS, TB, and malaria as epidemics,” said Michael Byrne, head of technical advice and partnerships at the Global Fund. “This new agreement will help overcome the multiple challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguard and expand HIV, TB and malaria programs.”

Under the agreement, the initiatives will seek to increase TB preventative treatment for those living with HIV in several countries across Africa, provide differentiated HIV services, improve data collection in countries, improve care for patients, and support sustainable financial planning for domestic health care systems, along with several other objectives to combat these epidemics.

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