The report shows that while some progress was made, key programmatic results have declined for the first time in the history of the Global Fund.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the fight
against HIV, TB and malaria in 2020. This is according to a new report released
by the Global Fund on Wednesday.
The report shows that while some progress was made, key
programmatic results have declined for the first time in the history of the
"To mark our 20th anniversary, we had hoped to focus
this year’s Results Report on the extraordinary stories of courage and
resilience that made possible the progress we have achieved against HIV, TB and
malaria over the last two decades,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the
“But the 2020 numbers force a different focus. They confirm what
we feared might happen when COVID-19 struck.”
According to the report, in 2020, the number of people treated for
drug-resistant TB in the countries where the Global Fund invests dropped by a
staggering 19%, with those on treatment for extensively drug-resistant TB
registering an even bigger drop of 37%.
The number of HIV-positive TB patients on antiretroviral treatment as well as
TB treatment dropped by 16%. The report also highlights significant declines in
HIV testing and prevention services for key and vulnerable populations who were
already disproportionately affected.
Compared with 2019, people reached with HIV prevention programs and services
declined by 11% while young people reached with prevention services declined by
Mothers receiving medicine to prevent transmitting HIV to their
babies dropped by 4.5% while HIV testing also dropped by 22%, holding back HIV
treatment initiation in most countries.
Interventions to combat malaria appear to have been less badly affected by
COVID-19 than the other two diseases.
The report highlights that prevention activities for malaria remained
stable or increased compared to 2019 since community health workers came in
handy to supply mosquito nets and distribution of anti-malarial.
The number of mosquito nets distributed increased by 17%, structures covered by
indoor residual spraying increased by 3%. In 2020, 11.5 million pregnant women
received preventive therapy.
However, suspected cases of malaria tested fell by 4.3%.
In terms of financial contributions, the fund reports having
disbursed US$4.2 billion in 2020 to continue the fight against HIV, TB and
malaria and strengthen systems for health. They also approved an
additional US$980 million in funding to respond to COVID-19.
As of August 2021, the Global Fund had approved a total of US$3.3 billion to
more than 100 countries to adapt lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria programs,
provide critical tests, treatments and medical supplies, protect front-line
health workers and urgently reinforce fragile systems for health.
Key results for 2020 in countries where the Global Fund invests the report
highlights up to 1.9 million people received lifesaving anti-retroviral therapy
for HIV, an 8.8% increase compared to 2019 despite COVID-19.
7 million people were reached with HIV prevention services in 2020 whereas 7 million
people were treated for TB. 94,000 children in contact with exposed
to TB patients also received preventative therapy.
When it comes to interventions into malaria, 188 million mosquito nets were distributed
to protect families from malaria, a 17% increase compared to 2019.