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50 million lives are saved in the fight against HIV, TB, and malaria over a 20-year period: Global Fund

According to the Global Fund, who are requesting $18 billion to save millions more lives, the fight against HIV, TB, and malaria has prevented 50 million deaths over the past 20 years.

With the three fatal diseases’ death rates having decreased by half since their inception in 2002, the worldwide partnership established to combat them declared in its annual report that “we have made amazing progress.”

However, it warned that “our fight is not done” and listed a number of converging catastrophes like the Covid-19 epidemic, wars, and climate change that “threaten to throw us backward.”

The Global Fund will convene a replenishment conference in New York the following week with the goal of raising at least $18 billion to support its programmes from 2024 through 2026.The Global Fund warned that the pandemic in particular was having a “devastating” impact on efforts to eradicate HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, leading to declining results across the board.

The fund, which brings together governments, multi-lateral agencies, bilateral partners, civil society groups, people affected by the diseases, and the private sector, estimates that financing would help cut HIV, TB, and malaria deaths by nearly two-thirds and save 20 million lives.

Although most nations fighting HIV, TB, and malaria have begun to recover from the effects of Covid-19, Fund chief Peter Sands emphasised that “we need to accelerate our efforts if we are to fully recover lost ground and get back on track towards ending these diseases by 2030.” He insisted that the 50 million lives saved over two decades was “proof that global commitment and community leadership can force the world’s deadliest infectious diseases into retreat.”

It also noted that the number of people reached with prevention services increased once more after declining in 2020, reaching 12.5 million individuals globally. However, it issued a warning that approximately 10 million individuals living with the virus lack access to life-saving medication.

Moreover, even though the number of AIDS-related deaths has decreased by 50% since 2010 to 650,000 last year, that figure still falls far short of the goal of lowering deaths to fewer than 500,000 annually by 2020.

While this was happening, the pandemic had a particularly negative effect on the fight against tuberculosis because many resources were redirected to combat Covid-19.

As a result, TB killed an estimated 1.5 million people in 2020, making it the second most lethal infectious illness in the world (after COVID). This was the first increase in TB deaths in a decade.

However, the Global Fund, which provides 76% of all international funding for the fight against TB, claimed that the programmes had begun to show improvement in 2016.

According to the report, 110,000 people were being treated for drug-resistant TB in 2021, bringing the total number of persons receiving treatment to 5.3 million.

As a result of service interruptions, the pandemic initially had a significant negative impact on the fight against malaria, increasing anticipated deaths by 12% to 627,000 in 2020.

However, the Global Fund claimed that a quick scale-up of programmes had helped them to recover, with 148 million patients treated and 280 million suspected cases screened last year.133 million mosquito nets were provided at the same time.