FILE PHOTO: Doctor Charles Eblin prepares to take care of a girl with malaria at his clinic Centre de sante sainte Marie de Marcory in Abidjan
Doctor Charles Eblin prepares to take care of a girl with malaria at his clinic in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Photo: Reuters/LUC GNAGO
health

Fight against AIDS, TB and malaria bounced back post-COVID - but not enough

13 Comments
By Jennifer Rigby

Efforts to tackle AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria began to recover last year after being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but the world is still not on track to defeat these killer diseases, according to a report.

In its 2021 report, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said the numbers of people reached with treatment and prevention efforts rebounded last year after declining for the first time in almost 20 years in 2020.

However, all the ground lost has not been regained, said Peter Sands, head of the Fund, a public/private alliance based in Geneva.

"Most countries have done an impressive job of bouncing back from the terrible disruption of 2020 ... but we are not where we want to be. Far too many people are still dying of these diseases," he told Reuters last week.

For example, the numbers treated for tuberculosis fell by 19% in 2020, to 4.5 million. In 2021, this went back up by 12%, to 5.3 million - still just below the 5.5 million on treatment pre-pandemic. While malaria and AIDS programs did exceed 2019 levels, the pandemic's impact means they are still off-track on the aim of ending the diseases by 2030.

Sands also warned that the impact of the global food crisis, exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, would make the situation worse.

Infectious diseases are usually much deadlier for people whose bodies are weakened by malnutrition, and they also do not respond as well to treatment or prevention efforts. As such, Sands said it was "likely" that the Fund would have to work with partners to provide more nutritional support than it ever has before in order to continue to save lives.

The report estimates that the Fund's work with countries has saved around 50 million lives since its inception in 2002. It spent $4.4 billion to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its key areas, and fight the pandemic, from March 2020 on.

To continue its work, the Global Fund is now aiming to raise $18 billion for its next three-year funding cycle, from governments, civil society and the private sector. It has already raised more than a third of the total and there are plans for a pledging conference next week, hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden.

© Thomson Reuters 2022.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


13 Comments
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Fight against AIDS, TB and malaria bounced back post-COVID - but not enough

It is time for the establishment for a world health authority. Right now, the poorer countries in particular rely on the agency, the WHO, for medical advice, but all the WHO is doing is disseminating information it gets from a variety of sources with no oversight, and then the committee members at the WHO, some who are not even medical doctors, have conflicting interests and the end result is these countries do not get the best advice.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

but all the WHO is doing is disseminating information it gets from a variety of sources with no oversight

That's partly correct and more context is needed. It does have oversight but who can oversee the best experts in the field of health, which is what WHO is?

the end result is these countries do not get the best advice.

Thats a stretch. "These countries" are not first time buyers in the property market, or a student not sure of which subject to study to get into his/her favorite college.

Countries governments have their own top experts on a power with the best in the field that the WHO have. They can read, reason and plan their own course of action depending on their country and gov. Just like what Japan has done. They don't need to handed advice. I'm afraid you misunderstand how govs operate and what the WHO does.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It is time for the establishment for a world health authority. 

That has been already stablished and it is the one doing the most to support those efforts, and no, it does not just collect information but put forward programs and organize interventions in case of crisis.

and then the committee members at the WHO, some who are not even medical doctors, have conflicting interests and the end result is these countries do not get the best advice.

One, that happens in every organization, pretending an organization without any conflicting interest can be made is just magical thinking.

Two, since the activities of a global public health authority is not about people giving medical consults then it is extremely desirable that the people working in it also include people of other expertise, epidemiologists, nurses, statisticians and obviously public health experts.

This is related to your mistaken idea that a medical authority requires also legal authority, which have made you think the CDC has legal authority to force China to do what it recommends.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I guess what painkiller means is that it's time for an honest, unbiased, and qualified world health authority, something we don't have at the moment.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

That has been already stablished and it is the one doing the most to support those efforts, and no, it does not just collect information but put forward programs and organize interventions in case of crisis.

You are completely mistaken because the role of the CDC, although a global health authority, is primarily to function within the jurisdiction of the USA. The world needs an authority like the CDC with a type pf authority it holds.

One, that happens in every organization, pretending an organization without any conflicting interest can be made is just magical thinking.

It doesn't happen in every medical organization, according to actual facts.

Two, since the activities of a global public health authority is not about people giving medical consults then it is extremely desirable that the people working in it also include people of other expertise, epidemiologists, nurses, statisticians and obviously public health experts.

And this is what the world lacks, and need, proving my point.

This is related to your mistaken idea that a medical authority requires also legal authority, which have made you think the CDC has legal authority to force China to do what it recommends.

You misunderstand this simple point, which is even addressed at the top. You are confused because you believe the WHO has some sort of legal authority, which it does not have anywhere in the world, but the CDC does.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

You are completely mistaken because the role of the CDC, although a global health authority, is primarily to function within the jurisdiction of the USA. The world needs an authority like the CDC with a type pf authority it holds.

The WHO is the closest we'll get. China made that clear in 2020, by showing that no agency can get the authority to act globally with authority the same way a governmental agency can act with authority within their own borders.

World health requires cooperation, there can be no authority, as there is no global authority to back a global medical authority.

The problem is, so many people are unwilling to cooperate for community health. America proved that during the pandemic. Other nations of course were much better at it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You are completely mistaken because the role of the CDC, although a global health authority, is primarily to function within the jurisdiction of the USA. 

Good to see you finally understand that being a scientific or medical authority is completely unrelated to having legal authority (of which the CDC has none outside of the US),

The world needs an authority like the CDC with a type pf authority it holds.

Any expert that says so? because it is not only just your personal opinion, it is also realistically impossible for any organization to have legal authority in a global scale, this is reality, not a movie with simple plot.

It doesn't happen in every medical organization, according to actual facts.

Again "facts" that you can't produce? that means they are not facts, just your personal opinion disguised as such without any actual evidence to prove it.

And this is what the world lacks, and need, proving my point.

Your point was that the committee included people that were "not even medical doctors" as if it was better that all were, so you contradict yourself by saying the world needs what the WHO provides, not what you mistakenly thought was better.

You misunderstand this simple point, which is even addressed at the top

That is what you said, that a medical authority automatically required legal authority, so according to you the WHO was not a global one because it can't force any country to do what it says it is better. Since according to you the CDC was a global authority that means that according to you it could do it, except that now you understand this is not true, nor necessary. The misunderstanding was yours.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Good to see you finally understand that being a scientific or medical authority is completely unrelated to having legal authority (of which the CDC has none outside of the US),

Since no one said the CDC has legal authority outside the US, and I am saying there is a need for such authority, your misunderstandings are plentiful. And there already are multiple institutions that have legal authority on a global scale. This is basic common knowledge.

Any expert that says so? because it is not only just your personal opinion, it is also realistically impossible for any organization to have legal authority in a global scale, this is reality, not a movie with simple plot.

Yep, many experts say this and have been saying so, as anyone in the medical profession would know.

That is what you said, that a medical authority automatically required legal authority, so according to you the WHO was not a global one because it can't force any country to do what it says it is better. Since according to you the CDC was a global authority that means that according to you it could do it, except that now you understand this is not true, nor necessary. The misunderstanding was yours.

You misunderstand again. According to the WHO itself, it is just an agency. It has no legal authority, although the CDC does. At the same you are not familiar with the global reach of the CDC; which is common knowledge:

https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/countries/default.htm

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Since no one said the CDC has legal authority outside the US, and I am saying there is a need for such authority

Again you said

The WHO was not a global authority because it had no legal authority as well

The CDC was a global authority (which obviously means you thought it had legal authority in a global scale)

This is a false situation born from your mistake in understanding what "authority" means in the medical or scientific field, this misunderstanding now is now corrected, which is why now you recant yourself and no longer believe both kinds of authority have to come togheter. Which is something good.

Yep, many experts say this and have been saying so, as anyone in the medical profession would know

Since you are unable to produce any reference that is still your own personal opinion trying to pass as the opinion of the experts, when you fail to produce evidence even when explicitly asked for it you are recognizing you have none. Now this is clear.

You misunderstand again. According to the WHO itself, it is just an agency

No, it is not, it is a global authority according to themselves and the UN constitution, and not having legal authority has absolutely no importance.

https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2013/09/who-world-health-organisation/

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.

https://apps.who.int/gb/bd/PDF/bd47/EN/constitution-en.pdf

In order to achieve its objective, the functions of the Organization shall be:

(a) to act as the directing and co-ordinating authority on international health work;

For the world the CDC is also just one country agency, and it has absolutely no legal authority outside of the US, according to you that means the CDC is nowhere near a global authority.

"Global reach" do not give it "global legal authority", which again demonstrate your point is mistaken.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No, it is not, it is a global authority according to themselves and the UN constitution, and not having legal authority has absolutely no importance.

How come the WHO's homepage proves you embarrassingly wrong?

*WHO is the United Nations agency , , ,*

https://www.who.int/about/

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

How come the WHO's homepage proves you embarrassingly wrong?

WHO is the United Nations agency , , ,

That does absolutely nothing to prove wrong that the WHO is a scientific and medical institution, the wrong idea that being an agency makes it impossible to be an authority is all yours, it is completely wrong and it also does the same for the CDC, which is also an agency.

The UN says you are wrong and clearly stipulates the WHO as an agency is a global authority.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That does absolutely nothing to prove wrong that the WHO is a scientific and medical institution, 

It does everything to prove you were wrong by saying it is not an agency though.

Imagine that--all one had to do was look at the Who's homepage to see that simple fact.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It does everything to prove you were wrong by saying it is not an agency though.

Never said that, when you have to make up imaginary things nobody said just so you have something to disprove you only make it clear you have no argument against what was actually said.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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