SEATTLE — Ever since its creation in January 2002, The Global Fund has continuously striven to improve universal health and well-being through the elimination of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Since then, transmission and mortality rates of these three deadly preventable diseases have significantly declined, and a variety of strategies have been implemented to continue the fight.
However, one recently disclosed statistic appears to perfectly encapsulate the unwavering and progressing determination of the organization.
20 million lives saved.
According to The Global Fund Results Report of 2016, an astounding 20 million lives have been saved as of the end of 2015 in connection with the partnership’s various efforts, initiatives and supported programs.
Working in countries including Myanmar and the Philippines, significant decreases in the transmission and mortality rates of all three diseases have been recorded during the organization’s existence.
From 2000-2015, the number of total deaths caused by malaria decreased by nearly half, while malaria cases declined by more than 18 percent.
Also during that time, occurrences of tuberculosis has fallen by an average of 1.5 percent per year. In addition, since 1990, the tuberculosis death rate has decreased 47 percent.
Over the past 15 years, HIV infections have dropped 35 percent, while AIDS-related deaths have declined by 28 percent.
“These results show the incredible dividends The Global Fund partnership is paying back – now we need to increase our effort to reach the people most at risk and end the epidemics for good,” says Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
But how has this partnership gone from nothing to saving a projected 22 million lives by the end of 2016?
History of The Global Fund
At the turn of the century, AIDS/HIV, tuberculosis and malaria were all severe diseases affecting significant portions of the world.
The good news was the fact that all three diseases were treatable and preventable.
The bad news was the realization that defeating these harmful illnesses would take unforeseen levels of commitment, and no organization capable of taking on such a massive task had yet been created.
However, in 2000, the idea of creating such an association was discussed at the G8 summit in Japan.
It took another year for the concept to truly come to fruition at the African Union summit, and was eventually endorsed at the G8 Genoa summit three months later.
After establishing strict fundamental principles and guidelines for the new organization, The Global Fund was founded.
Since then, the partnership has assisted locations and regions all around the world, provided funding for countless programs and acquired celebrity endorsers and supporters such as Morgan Freeman and Julia Roberts.
But 20 million lives isn’t all that the organization has accomplished.
The Global Fund Achievements
· 9.2 million – The number of people currently on antiretroviral treatment for HIV
· $15 billion – Over the course of its existence, The Global Fund has distributed more than $15 billion for HIV programs in more than 100 countries around the world
· 15.1 million – The number of people who have received tuberculosis treatment
· 45 percent – The number of deaths caused by AIDS has declined by 45 percent in countries where the Global Fund invests
· 146 million – The total number of infections averted across HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria
· 659 million – The number of mosquito nets distributed through programs for malaria
“These figures represent what’s possible when partners from around the globe come together to fight these three diseases,” says Dybul. “At a time of global social and economic upheaval, this is proof positive that when we unite behind bold, ambitious goals we can transform lives and build more just societies.”
With the assistance of their numerous partnerships, The Global Fund plans to continue their mission to eliminate all cases and deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
20 million lives have already been saved. The question is how many more are left?
Join the fight here at http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/.
– Jordan J. Phelan