Rwanda contributes $2.5m to Global Fund

Rwanda’s Minister for Health Dr Diane Gashumba poses with Michel Sidibé, Mali’s Minister for Health and Social Affairs, in Lyon, France yesterday. / Courtesy

Rwanda has heeded Global Fund’s appeal to raise at least $14 billion to step up the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by contributing $2.5 million (about Rwf2.3 billion).

The pledge was made by the Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba, who was representing President Paul Kagame, at the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment conference which ended yesterday in Lyon, France.

“Honored to convey President Paul Kagame’s message to Global Fund, of his full commitment to the noble cause: saving lives through continuous efficient use of funding, reinforced primary healthcare and great collaboration among African countries,” Dr. Gashumba wrote on her Twitter account.

Global Fund’s appeal to the world leaders has been positively responded to, the Fund said through its Twitter account on Thursday.

The United States contributed $4.68 billion – which is the largest support.

According to the Global Fund, the funds could help save 16 million lives between 2021 and 2023, reducing the mortality rate by 52 percent across the three diseases by 2023, relative to 2017 levels.

It also explained that it could also reduce the death toll across the three diseases to 1.3 million in 2023, down from 2.5 million in 2017 and from 4.1 million in 2005 as well as avert 234 million new infections or cases.

“Through this pledge, Rwanda remains committed to deepening impact, building accountability systems and collaborating with other African countries to increase domestic financing to end the three epidemics,” the Ministry of Health wrote on its Twitter account.

In addition, the money would result in reducing the incidence rate by 42 percent across the three diseases by 2023, relative to 2017 levels.

Briefly, it could help get the world back on track to end HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria as set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target.

“AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria: there are lives behind these words, young people who aspire to live a normal life, to fall in love with whoever they want, to have a job, to study. We have no other choice but to raise these 14 billion dollars,” President Macron said to the participants, including Heads of government at the conference.

Meanwhile, Mussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said it is better for Africa to depend on its own efforts than relying on others.

“Countries must step up the fight and invest 15 percent of their national budgets to public health if we are to ensure Universal Health Care and ease the intolerable disease burden of Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS in Africa,” he said.

Global Fund Result Report 2019 shows that since 2002, health programs supported by the Global Fund partnership have saved 32 million lives as of the end of 2018. Overall, the number of deaths caused by AIDS, TB, and malaria each year has been reduced by 40 percent since 2002 in countries where the Global Fund invests.

According to 2019 figures, by the end of 2018, countries which the Global Fund supports saw 18.9 million HIV positive people placed on antiretroviral therapy, 5.3 million people with Tuberculosis treated, and 131 million mosquito nets distributed to fight malaria.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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