The progress we have made in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria has had a significant positive impact on our efforts to build strong health systems and improve maternal and child health. However, we need to invest significantly more in this integrated health system strengthening approach if we are to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Mother-to-child HIV transmission may be eliminated by 2015; malaria may be eliminated as a public health problem within a decade; TB prevalence could be halved by 2015. However, these health targets can only be achieved if current rates of scaling up expenditure on the three diseases are maintained and, ideally, further accelerated.
The Global Fund is in discussions with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the World Bank concerning the creation of a common platform for jointly funding health systems strengthening (HSS). For countries, a jointly funded HSS mechanism would mean simplified access to HSS funding, better alignment of financing to national HSS-related strategies, and reduced transaction costs.
In December 2009, the Global Fund Board approved nine proposals in Wave 7 of the rolling continuation channel (RCC) funding stream, representing costs of up to $451 million over three years. Of the nine proposals, three were for HIV, four for TB and two for malaria. All approvals are conditional on the applicant responding satisfactorily to clarifications requested by the Technical Review Panel (TRP).
In Issue 111, GFO reported briefly on a Global Fund Board decision in November 2009 to further modify its Quality Assurance Policy for Pharmaceutical Products. This article provides some background information and further details of the decision.
The Board had previously approved a revised Quality Assurance Policy at its meeting in November 2008. That revised policy came into effect on 1 July 2009.
Global Fund Board Approves Proposals for Phase 1 of the "AffordableMedicines Facility - Malaria" (AMFm) Funding Stream
At its recent meeting in Addis Ababa, the Global Fund Board approved 10 proposals under Phase 1 of a small innovative new funding programme called the "Affordable Medicines Facility - Malaria" (AMFm), which is designed to provide support for interventions promoting and facilitating the use of artemisinin combination therapies (ACT).
The Global Fund board delegation that represents Communities Living with HIV, Tuberculosis and Affected by Malaria (the "Communities" Delegation) is seeking nominations for additional members.
The main decisions made by the Global Fund Board at the meeting that ended yesterday were, in chronological order, as follows. (For precise wording of what the Board agreed, check in
www.theglobalfund.org/documents/board/17/GF-B17-DecisionPoints.pdf for the Decision Points specified below.)
The Global Fund is, according to its website, "the largest financier of insecticide treated bednets in the world".
The social benefit of these bednets as a means of preventing malaria is generally regarded as being beyond dispute; the only debate focuses on whether they should be given out free, or sold at subsidized prices.
Global Fund grants where the Principal Recipient (PR) is not a government entity are somewhat more likely to perform well, according to a recent statistical analysis published in The Lancet.