Rwanda’s Health Minister Calls for More Donations to Global Fund
Many of the world’s largest economies are not fulfilling their financial pledges to the Global Fund, according to Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s health minister.
In a commentary distributed to media around the world by Project Syndicate, the minister, who was chair of the Rwandan country coordinating mechanism from 2008 to 2011 and who is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School, said that Global Fund support has enabled Rwanda to achieve universal access to antiretroviral therapy and to stabilise HIV prevalence at around 3%.
In addition, Ms Binagwaho said, Rwanda’s tuberculosis programme has become a model for Africa primarily as a result of Global Fund support, and all Rwandan families now have access to insecticide-treated bed nets to prevent malaria, which has contributed to an 87% drop in malaria cases during the last seven years.
After receiving Global Fund support for years, Rwanda recently made its first donation of $1million to the Fund. Ms Binagwaho urged donor countries, including middle-and low-income countries, to rise to the challenge and ensure that the Global Fund has the resources needed to accept new grant applications as soon as possible.
“Our choice could not be clearer: Either we resolve to answer the call of history and provide the Global Fund with the resources that it needs, or we allow political lassitude to undermine a decade of progress and consign untold thousands to preventable deaths,” she said.
Investing now, the minister argued, would pay off in the long term. “The costs of inaction are morally – and economically – untenable.”