- Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the battle against HIV, TB, malaria, as well as on the communities funded by the Global Fund.
- According to the Global Fund, there have been “substantial” decreases in HIV testing and prevention services.
- For the first time in the global fund’s history, key programmatic results have worsened.
According to a study issued on Wednesday by the Global Fund, the Covid-19 pandemic had a “devastating” impact on the battle against HIV, TB, and malaria in 2020.
As per Peter Sands, the executive director of the Global Fund, “To commemorate our 20th anniversary, we had hoped to focus this year’s report on the extraordinary stories of courage and resilience that have enabled the progress we have made against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria over the last two decades.”
” But the 2020 numbers force a different focus. They confirm what we feared might happen when Covid-19 struck,” he stated.
“Covid-19 has had a catastrophic impact on the battle against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as the communities we assist. For the first time in the global fund’s existence, important programming results have deteriorated.”
As per the fund, HIV testing and prevention services have declined “significantly.”
In comparison to 2019, the number of people reached with HIV prevention and treatment fell by 11% last year, while HIV testing fell by 22%, stalling new treatment in most countries.
Despite this, the number of people receiving life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV grew by 8.8 percent to 21.9 million in 2020, despite Covid-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a “catastrophic” impact on the worldwide TB fight, according to the report.
The number of patients treated for drug-resistant tuberculosis in countries where the Global Fund invests has decreased by a “staggering” 19 percent, with those on treatment for severely drug-resistant tuberculosis dropping by an even greater 37 percent, according to the report.
According to the fund, around 4.7 million people received TB treatment in 2020, nearly one million less than in 2019.
Malaria interventions “appear to have been less adversely affected by Covid-19 than the other two illnesses,” according to the report.
“Thanks to adaptation measures and the diligence and innovation of community health workers, prevention activities remained stable or increased compared to 2019.”
The number of mosquito nets supplied grew by 17% to 188 million, while the number of structures covered by indoor residual spraying climbed by 3%.
Despite this, the Global Fund, which brings together governments, bilateral partners, multilateral agencies, disease victims, civil society organisations, and the business sector, claimed that its “rapid and decisive reaction to Covid-19 prevented an even greater tragedy.”
In 2020, the fund disbursed $4.2 billion to continue the battle against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, and authorised an extra $980 million in financing to respond to Covid-19.
According to the Global Fund, since its inception in 2002, it has saved 44 million lives and reduced the number of fatalities caused by AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 46% in countries where it invests.