THE GLOBAL FUND REFLECTS ON ITS PROGRESS THUS FAR, ASSESSES THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 AND INVOKES THE ADDITIONAL SAFEGUARD POLICY ON PAKISTAN
Download PDF The Global Fund: Results Report 2020 The Global Fund’s results report stated that, with its partners, they saved 38 million lives from AIDS, tubercolosis (TB), and malaria across the world since 2002 (when the Global Fund was established). About six million lives were saved in 2019 alone. In other words, without Global Fund interventions, six million people would have died….Article Type:
Action needed to combat the disruptive effect of COVID-19
ABSTRACT Several developments relating to the Global Fund and COVID-19 have been published. The Global Fund released its Results Report for 2020 and reflected on the progress made in the fight against the three diseases while recent surveys by the Global Fund and the World Health Organization further reveal the disruptive effects COVID-19 continues to have on HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and on other essential health services. Due to concerns about the effectiveness of HIV and tuberculosis interventions, and the related implementation arrangements in Pakistan, the Global Fund has recently invoked the Additional Safeguard Policy.
The Global Fund’s results report stated that, with its partners, they saved 38 million lives from AIDS, tubercolosis (TB), and malaria across the world since 2002 (when the Global Fund was established). About six million lives were saved in 2019 alone. In other words, without Global Fund interventions, six million people would have died. The report, well supported by graphs and images, showed the trend in mortality and morbidity across the three diseases. The report also highlighted success stories from countries such as Eswatini for their HIV targets; six Asian countries, including India for increased TB detection and Myanmar for a 90% reduction in malaria cases. The report seems to indicate that the fight against malaria is less successful than the fight against the other two diseases.
The report explained that the success in the fight against the three diseases might be compromised by COVID-19 and associated measures to reduce its spread: COVID-19 disrupted the distribution of medicines, discouraged attendance at health facilities, and strained health workers’ availability. Some modeling indicated that deaths from the three diseases might double in the next year because of COVID-19. To avoid such an occurrence, the Global Fund invites “the world [to] act with speed and scale, investing far greater resources than have yet been committed, to counter both the direct impact of COVID-19 and to mitigate the knock-on consequences for HIV, TB, and malaria.”
The Global Fund’s latest survey published on 9 September 2020 shows that fewer countries (35, down from 38 in the last two weeks) are at ‘very high’ or ‘high’ risk of overall program disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The biweekly online survey, which is completed by country-based local fund agents (LFAs) across Global Fund-supported countries, helps identify potential risks and disruptions to programs.
About 76% of countries reported moderate to high levels of disruption to HIV service delivery, while 77% and 63% reported the same for TB and malaria, respectively. Countries have also reported a steady increase in disruptions to supply chain distribution and warehousing over the past eight weeks. Additionally, malaria grants have reported a rise in financial disruption over the past 12 weeks, even though the overall level of disruption is lower than that of HIV and TB.
The results of the survey can be found in the Global Fund’s latest Situation Report.
A World Health Organization (WHO) survey on the impact of COVID-19 on health systems in 105 countries found that almost every country (90%) has experienced disruptions to its health services. Disruptions have affected routine and elective services in most countries, and critical care–such as cancer screening and treatment, and HIV therapy–in low-income countries. Most frequently affected services included routine immunization: outreach services (70%) and facility-based services (61%), non-communicable diseases diagnosis and treatment (69%), and family planning and contraception (68%). HIV, TB and malaria services also experienced disruptions but to a lesser extent.
Overall, the disruptions were mainly either due to a reduction in outpatient care attendance (76%) or the cancellation of elective services by health facilities (66%).
The results of the survey can be found in the report: Pulse survey on continuity of essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic: interim report, 27 August 2020
In a letter dated 6 August 2020, the Global Fund invoked the Additional Safeguard Policy (ASP) on the Pakistan portfolio. Under the ASP, the Global Fund determines additional measures required to ensure the safety of Global Fund grants. Those measures include the Secretariat’s selection of implementers.
In the letter, the Global Fund expressed concern over the epidemiologic trends of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan, where TB case notifications have stagnated or even decreased and HIV incidences are on the rise. The letter also expressed dissatisfaction with the role and performance of the Common Management Unit (CMU), which has failed to provide leadership in light of the devolved implementation arrangements. The Global Fund noted in the letter that it would propose new implementation arrangements after consultation with partners.
Read the full letter here: Global Fund says ‘not satisfied’ with Pakistan’s use of grants, will increase monitoring