Global Fund Results Report Shows Devastating Effects Of COVID-19 On HIV, TB and Malaria Programs

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The results report shows the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global fight against tuberculosis. In 2020, the number of people treated for drug-resistant tuberculosis fell by a staggering 19% in countries the Global Fund invests in, with the number of people treated for largely drug-resistant tuberculosis seeing an even larger drop recorded by 37%. The number of HIV-positive TB patients who received both antiretroviral and TB treatment decreased by 16%.

The report also highlights a significant decline in HIV testing and prevention services for key and vulnerable populations who have already been disproportionately affected. Compared to 2019, the number of people reached with HIV prevention programs and services decreased by 11%, while young people reached with prevention services decreased by 12%. The number of mothers receiving drugs to prevent HIV transmission to their babies decreased by 4.5%. HIV testing decreased by 22%, delaying the start of HIV treatment in most countries.

Malaria control interventions appear to have been less affected by COVID-19 than the other two diseases. Thanks to adaptation measures and the diligence and innovation of the community health workers, prevention activities remained stable or increased compared to 2019. The number of mosquito nets distributed increased by 17%, and buildings covered with residual spray indoors by 3%. In 2020, 11.5 million pregnant women received preventive therapy. However, the suspected cases of malaria tested decreased by 4.3% and progress in fighting the disease has stagnated.

The Global Fund’s swift and determined response to COVID-19 prevented an even worse outcome. In 2020, the Global Fund disbursed $ 4.2 billion to continue the fight against HIV, TB, and malaria and strengthen health systems, and approved an additional $ 980 million in funding to respond to COVID- 19th As of August 2021, the Global Fund has approved a total of $ 3.3 billion for more than 100 countries to adapt life-saving HIV, TB and malaria programs, provide critical testing, treatment and medical care, and protect frontline health workers and fragile urgently to strengthen systems for health. These investments, along with rapid action and funding from donors, governments, communities and health partners, helped mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on HIV, TB and malaria and fuel the progress made in combating the three diseases.

Key 2020 results in countries where the Global Fund invests include:

  • 21.9 million people received life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2020, an 8.8% increase compared to 2019 despite COVID-19;
  • 8.7 million people with HIV prevention services reached in 2020;
  • 4.7 million people treated for TB in 2020;
  • 194,000 children who had contact with TB-exposed patients received preventive therapy in 2020;
  • 188 million mosquito nets were distributed to protect families from malaria, a 17% increase from 2019 despite COVID-19.

“The partnership with the Global Fund continues to save lives,” commented Sands. “Given the extraordinary challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our partnership has demonstrated flexibility and determination, providing medicines, supplies and care to millions of people around the world. Countries we invest in have responded quickly to COVID-19 by using the same laboratories, disease monitoring, community networks, trained health workers and supply chains that were created to fight HIV, TB and malaria. ”

Since its inception in 2002, the Global Fund partnership has saved 44 million lives. AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria deaths fell by 46% [1]in countries in which the Global Fund invests. These achievements are the result of the efforts of a wide range of Global Fund Partnership actors, including implementing country governments, multilateral agencies, bilateral partners, civil society groups, disease-affected people and the private sector.

“Despite the terrible toll that COVID-19 has taken, the pandemic is an opportunity for us to build a better, fairer and healthier world,” concluded Sands. “Together we have changed the evolution of HIV, TB and malaria and we are determined to continue to do so. If we continue to innovate and work together – on a global, national and local level – we can end HIV, TB and malaria, defeat COVID-19 and create a much stronger foundation for pandemic preparedness and response. ”

1. Data as of the end of 2020 for HIV; As of the end of 2019 for malaria and tuberculosis (data for 2020 not yet available at the time of publication)

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of The Global Fund.

About The Global Fund: The Global Fund is a global movement to fight HIV, TB and malaria and to ensure a healthier, safer and more just future for all. We raise and invest $ 4 billion annually to fight the deadliest infectious diseases, the injustices that fuel them, and empower health systems in more than 100 of the hardest hit countries. We bring together world leaders, communities, civil society, health workers and the private sector to find solutions that have the greatest impact and we execute them worldwide. Since 2002, the Global Fund has saved 44 million lives.

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