Africa: Can Lead the Way in Ending Aids, Malaria and TB
In September, world leaders pledged nearly US$13 billion to tackle some of the world’s deadliest diseases through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. In a time of significant global uncertainty and strife, this was a remarkable display of commitment to the health and well-being of the most vulnerable populations on the planet. African leaders have committed to ending AIDS, TB and malaria since 2001, and over the past few decades, extraordinary global solidarity and resources have helped transform this fight against Africa’s three biggest public health threats.
The Global Fund has been key to this progress, having saved 20 million lives worldwide and averted millions of new infections. But donor resources are not limitless. In order to build on our progress and accelerate the decline of these diseases, we need to marshal resources and leadership from the countries that, tragically, know them best – many of which are in Africa. I am all too familiar with the devastating impact of AIDS, TB and malaria on the people of my continent, with hundreds of millions of Africans at risk of these diseases every day. Encouragingly, African governments have taken several important steps to meet the evolving demands of the AIDS, TB and malaria response. Several African countries committed resources to the Global Fund for its latest replenishment. Pledges from South Africa, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Zimbabwe totaled approximately $34 million, demonstrating the importance African countries place on the Global Fund and sharing responsibility for ending these epidemics. As President Macky Sall of Senegal said, “In an interconnected and interdependent world, diseases know no borders.” The African Union Commission commends the countries that contributed, and commits to work with more African countries for increased pledges for the next replenishment in 2018